What Is Bipolar Disorder?

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder in which a person experiences two extremes of mood-mania and depression. Previously known as manic depression, bipolar disorder affects a person’s energy, mood, and ability to perform different tasks.

People with bipolar disorder experience mood episodes. In these mood episodes, a person experiences mania followed by major depression. Such mood episodes can vary in frequency. Individuals with bipolar disorder also have periods of neutral moods.

With medications and consistent treatment, the mood episodes can be controlled, and people with bipolar disorder can lead normal-quality lives.

If you have bipolar disorder, you must consult a Psychiatrist.

Types Of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder can be categorised into Bipolar I and Bipolar II. Before we dive into the types of bipolar disorder, let us discuss mania, hypomania, and major depression.

Mania

Mania is a period of extreme high-energy levels and a feeling of euphoria or irritable mood for at least a week. A manic episode can be identified by the person’s family members or friends as the behaviour is more unusual than the person’s normal behaviour. A person going through a manic episode may exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Talking too much
  • Feeling high-spirited
  • High energy levels
  • Sleeping less than usual
  • Spending too much money
  • Increased sex drive
  • Racing thoughts and ideas
  • Getting easily distracted
  • Engaging in risky behaviours like overspeeding

A manic episode interferes with the patient’s daily life activities and may require hospitalisation to take care of the patient.

Sometimes, manic episodes may become so severe that it is accompanied by psychotic symptoms, like hallucinations and delusions. In hallucinations, a person may see or hear things that do not exist. Delusions mean false beliefs, and a person has a false belief about something despite clear evidence.

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Hypomania

Hypomania is similar to mania but less severe. The symptoms are less intense, and it lasts less than the time mania does. Hypomania lasts for around three to four days. The symptoms are similar to manic episodes, but not that severe. The patient usually does not require to be in the hospital when having a hypomanic episode.

Major Depression

Major depression is the opposite of mania. In many patients, depression exists alone. In bipolar disorder, depression follows mania or hypomania.

In major depression, the person experiences extreme feelings of sadness and despair. The whole world feels like a sad place, and feelings of hopelessness overshadow everything.

A major depressive episode lasts around two weeks. Some of the symptoms of major depression are:

  • An intense feeling of sadness and hopelessness
  • Not finding pleasure in activities once enjoyed
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Low self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness
  • Difficulty concentrating on something
  • Trouble performing usual day-to-day tasks
  • Feeling tired
  • Changes in sleep
  • Changes in appetite
  • Ideas of self-harm or suicide

The types of bipolar disorder include:

Bipolar I

In bipolar I disorder, a person experiences mania that may or may not be followed by a major depressive episode. Bipolar I interferes with usual tasks and is more severe than bipolar II.

Bipolar II

Bipolar II disorder is less severe than bipolar I. In this type, a person experiences hypomania followed by major depression. Hypomania is less intense than mania, which makes bipolar II less severe than bipolar I.

Conclusion

With appropriate treatment, the symptoms of bipolar disorder can be managed well, and the person can lead a normal life. If you experience any symptoms of bipolar disorder or notice any symptoms in someone you know, you should consult a psychiatrist. You can consult a Psychiatrist in Rawalpindi.

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By Hammad Hassan

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