All you can know about bipolar disorders

All you can know about bipolar disorders

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By Dr. Neha Shah, Psychiatry

Bipolar disorder, also called manic depressive disorder, is characterized by extreme mood swings; ranging from mania or hypomania to depression. The mood swings can vary from occurring several times a week to just a few times a year. People suffering from bipolar disorders are prone to acting very rashly at times, and are also quite susceptible to suicidal thoughts. It is very important, therefore, that you get medical attention and healthcare as well as follow a proper treatment plan.

Causes
Although studies have not so far been able to pinpoint the exact cause of this disorder, here are a few causes which can lead to manic depression:
1. Biological differences
2. Hereditary causes
3. Neurotransmitter imbalances

Symptoms
1. Bipolar I disorder (one manic episode followed by or preceded by hypomanic or depressive episodes)
2. Bipolar II disorder (No manic episodes but a succession of major depressive or major hypomanic episodes)
3. Cyclothymic disorder (At least two years of a succession of periods of hypomania or depressive symptoms)
4. Other related disorders such as multiple sclerosis or Cushing’s disease (from exposure to high levels of cortisol)
5. Feelings of anxiety
6. Feelings of melancholia
7. Catatonia (a state of immobility)
8. Psychosis
9. Peripartum onset

Treatment
Primarily, treatment can be either the use of medications or therapy. The treatment recommended will depend on the severity of the disorder.
Initially, you may need medications such as:
1. Antipsychotics
2. Anti-anxiety medications
3. Mood stabilizers
4. Anti-depressants

Therapy is also very helpful in the treatment of manic depression:
1. Cognitive behavioral therapy
2. Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy
3. Psycho education
4. Electroconvulsive therapy
5. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (way to stimulate small parts of the brain)