Highs and lows are a part of our daily life. Each one of us experiences mood swings due to the kind of day we had at work or personal life. If these mood swings start interfering with your sleep and the person is unable to think clearly. The chances are that the person is suffering from Bipolar Disorder.
Bipolar Disorder is a mental illness that causes a person to have extreme highs and manic lows. These happen unexpectedly and sometimes the patient needs hospitalization.
Types of Bipolar Disorder
1. Bipolar 1 Disorder
This is a severe condition where patients have had dangerous episodes of mania.
2. Bipolar 2 Disorder
People suffering from Bipolar 2 disorder have had longer periods of depression.
3. Cyclothymic Disorder
When the patient has experienced many episodes of depression and hypomania.
Is Bipolar Disorder Genetic?
Yes. If any of the parents are suffering from Bipolar disorder then it increases the child’s chances of having it by 60 – 80%.
Although this is not to say that the child will definitely have Bipolar Disorder.
How is Bipolar Disorder different from Depression?
Depression is a mental state when the patient is in a constant state of feeling low. Loss of interest in daily activities that previously brought them pleasure. They have thoughts of hurting themselves, suicide and death.
Whereas, patients of Bipolar disorder are in an unstable state of mental and emotional highs and lows. Since the symptoms of both the disorders overlap – misdiagnosis often occur.
Did You Know?
20% of cases of depression actually have bipolar disorder.
9 Clear & Early Signs Your Depression is turning into Bipolar Disorder
1. Decreased or Irregular Sleep
From not sleeping at all to sleeping a lot – could be signs of bipolar disorder. If not treated on time could result in vivid dreams or hallucinations.
2. Racing Thoughts
This is one of the first signs to appear in a Bipolar patient. Inability to quieten the mind which even starts interfering with sleep patterns. Their thoughts are so disorganised that the patient is unable to express them clearly.
Some people do crossword puzzles (or painting, gardening any other hobby of their choice) etc to relax their mind.
3. Talking Rapidly
Speaking so fast that the other person isn’t able to decipher. Jumbles words or language and inability to stop at the proper places.
4. Feelings of Extreme Highs and Lows
Episodes of feeling reckless and volatile. The feeling of superiority over other people, energised, invincible. Followed by sudden dips (sometimes triggered other times for no particular reason).
5. Making Reckless Decisions
According to studies, the decision-making skills of manic patients is poor. They do not understand the consequences of their decisions and behaviour.
6. Disruptive Behaviour
Anger, irritability, emotional outbursts are normal human behaviour. But, if the anger outbursts and irritability exceed in severity for more than a year. Then one might want to get tested for Bipolar Disorder.
Overeating and Bipolar disorder connect deeper than emotional eating during the depressive phases. Bipolar patients who do not binge eat develop serious physical illnesses like heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis etc.
According to a study revealed by Mayo Clinic, the Lindner Center of HOPE and the University of Minnesota, Patients who overeat have their Bipolar disorder turn out differently than the ones who do not.
Studies also show that binge eating and obesity is common in Bipolar women.
8. Thoughts/ Attempts of Self Injury and Suicide
Different genders show different signs and methods of self-harm. Bipolar women exhibit signs of self-injury by cutting themselves. Whereas men are more likely to hit or punch themselves.
Patients in their younger years ( late teens or college students) cause self-injury, without the intent of actually dying.
Statistics show that nearly 30% of Bipolar patients attempt suicide once in their lives.
In such cases, patients need medicines to stabilise the moods and treat them for their damaging behaviours.
9. Getting Angry & Aggressive if other people disagree to them
Sudden and unwarranted mood swings can cause irritability in Bipolar patients. Which if left unmanaged leads to anger and aggression. The thoughts, moods and expressions of a Bipolar patient move so rapidly that they experience irritability easily.
Bipolar disorder is treatable.
1. Talk Therapy. By talking to people in a support group helps share thoughts and seek support. One can learn various methods from other people in dealing with behavioural shifts.
2. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can treat patients for their Bipolar disorder in the long term. It helps the patients modify their daily behaviour to minimize the mood shifts.
3. Family Therapy reduces the strain this mental illness can cause on the relationships.
4. Medication (Antidepressants and Mood stabilizers)
Whether it’s you or it’s your loved one who is experiencing depression or Bipolar disorder – Reach out! Seek help. There’s more love and understanding for you out there than you can imagine.