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Over 2.6 % of the population in the United States are diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Approximately 86% of cases are severe. While the average age of diagnosis is 25 years old, it may also happen to teens and even children.
Bipolar disorder is also known as manic depression, although this term has been largely replacced by the term “bipolar disorder”. It is a psychological disorder that causes a dramatic shift in a person’s mood.
People who suffer from this kind of disorder normally experience extreme high and low moods. The high mood is known as mania and the low as depression. Bipolar patients typically swing between mania and depression without warning.
We all suffer from mood swings every now and again. However, the moods caused by bipolar are different from the typical ups and downs that people usually experience. The moods caused by bipolar disorder can be very distressing. It may have a significant impact on the sufferers life and even their loved ones life.
Bipolar can make a normal working life impossible to maintain. It can put enormous strain on relationships and friendships. As a result, living with bipolar can be very lonely. Especially as the general population still know relatively little about the disorder.
One of the common misconceptions that the general population have about bipolar is that there is only one type. This is not the case.
The symptoms of bipolar may vary from person to person to some extent. These may include psychotic symptoms like delusion or hallucination. People who have psychotic symptoms are very often wrongly diagnosed as having schizophrenia.
Typical symptoms of bipolar include:
In addition to changes to how they feel inside, people suffering from manic episodes may display extreme behavioural changes including:
As well as these major changes to how they are feeling, they will usually experience behavioural changes such as:
If you or someone you know is displaying a combination of these symptoms, it’s undoubtedly time to visit a medical professional. Suffering with bipolar can be an extremely difficult challenge, but thankfully treatments have vastly improved in recent years. Once a diagnosis is achieved, the treatment process can begin and relief from symptoms becomes possible.
Treatments for bipolar disorder are categorized into two groups; psychological therapies and medications. In the vast majority of cases, a combination of the two is needed for a holistic treatment plan. This combination will, more often than not, significantly improve the quality of life for the patient.
CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) is based on the idea that psychological illness is influenced by how a person thinks and responds to everyday life events. This therapy method focuses on helping the patient to develop a set of important skills.
These skills allow the him or her to combat negative thought patterns and reactions. It emphasizes the ability of the patient to manage and maintain their own mental health in a sustainable way. CBT has been proven to be highly effective for a vast range of mental illnesses, including bipolar disorder.
Unfortunately, psychological therapy alone is not enough to treat bipolar disorder in most cases. This means that some level of medication is also required. The most common medication used are:
Bipolar disorder is a mental illness which had been associated with much social stigma and shame in the past. Thankfully, this appears to be changing rapidly. Mental health, in general, is something which is becoming more and more understood.
Countless organizations and government bodies work tirelessly to assist those dealing with mental illness. There is more help than there has ever been before, but sadly it still isn’t enough.
For anyone who is struggling with their mental health, it is important to talk. Whether it’s to family members, friends or any one you trust, sharing your struggles is the first step towards finding a treatment that will work for you.
If you feel that you may be suffering from bipolar disorder or any other mood disorder and are not diagnosed you should consult a mental health professional. Mental illnesses can be very serious, especially if left untreated, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry.