One of the most common indicators that someone has bipolar disorder is that they experience some severe mood swings. There are some days that they are irritable and very frustrated with everything in life. At other times, excitement and joy dominate the day. The swings are so severe and sometimes so fast, however, that they negatively affect daily life and relationships.
How Common Is It?
It is believed that bipolar disorder affects about 3% of adults. In the United States, the percentage is 2.6%. Still sometimes called manic depression or a manic depressive disorder, there are highs and lows to emotion that are difficult to control.
There’s No Single Cause
As with most disorders that are psychological in nature, there isn’t just one contributing factor that leads to the development of bipolar disorder. Environmental factors, biological conditions, and genetics all are thought to play a role in this disorder’s development.
5 Different Types
Bipoloar disorder can be classified into 5 different types. Bipolar I is a diagnosis that exhibits the typical symptoms that are associated with the disorder. Biopolar II is a milder form. Cyclothymia is also milder, but it is chronic and episodes may last for at least two years. Mixed has simultaneous emotions that are difficult to process as someone feels severely depressed while still motivated and energetic. Rapid bipolar will have people experience a minimum of 4 episodes within the period of one year.
Can You Tell?
There are a few risk factors that may lead to bipolar disorder. Alcohol abuse or other substance abuse is one of them. Having another psychological disorder is also a risk factor. It is even believed that medical interactions may cause the development of this disorder as well.
Diagnosis Isn’t Easy
There’s no actual medical test that can be used to definitely determine if someone has bipolar disorder. They will typically have a conversation with a psychologist or psychiatrist to have a clinical interview. The detailed questions and a careful evaluation of personal and family history will lead to clues about whether bipolar disorder is present.
How Is Is Treated?
The most common form of treatment for bipolar disorder is medication that includes mood stabilizers. Up to 80% of the manic episodes that someone with this disorder may experience can be controlled through the use of lithium. Other medications that are anti-seizure in nature have also been found to be beneficial.
Can It Be Personally Managed?
Sometimes cognitive behavioral therapy can also help people with bipolar disorder. This helps people see thinking and behavior that is negative so they can monitor their moods and proactively work to prevent a relapse.
Support Is the Key
Seeing a therapist regularly and participating in group support sessions helps to manage bipolar disorder. So do healthy habits, such as regular exercise, stress reduction, and the proper amount of sleep. This helps people to avoid triggers and that makes life a lot easier to handle.