Bipolar disorder affects nearly six million adults in America. This is a pretty large number when considering the population of America. Given the extreme mood swings that come with this disorder, it is an eye-opening statistic.
It is up to us to understand what Bipolar disorder looks like. Those without bipolar disorder can only hope to know how it feels. Knowing friends or family who suffer from this, we must have an understanding of how to address this. Below, we will be going into some research that will help you have a better understanding.
The History of Bipolar Disorder
To understand bipolar disorder, we must first understand its origin. If we were to go to the beginning, we would go back to first-century Greece.
According to healthline.com, it was stated that certain people in their society suffered from “mania” or “depression.” These symptoms were relieved by taking lithium baths. Lithium is a medication used today to treat bipolar disorder. Aristotle cited melancholy as a condition. As a result, it is seen as an excellent conduit for artists.
In the beginning, people who had this disease were treated with a great deal of stigma. The past treated this by executing those who suffered from this. This habit was overturned as society advanced, and further discoveries were had. During this period, people who suffered from this condition were called manic depressives.
In the 1980s, this was changed to bipolar disorder to avoid calling people “maniacs.” Today, the DSM-5 contains the details regarding the treatment of bipolar disorder. While we still need to work on addressing the needless social stigma about bipolar disorder, we are far better than we were at understanding it.
What Are The Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder?
The Mayo Clinic gives us four different types of disorders to keep an eye on. We will list them out below. But first, we need to address some definitions.
- Hypomanic – a lesser form of mania that causes the person to experience feelings of happiness or euphoria
- Manic – This is high-level energy that borders on being deranged.
What Causes Bipolar Disorder?
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has given a few reasons related to what could be causing it. Research has yet to have a concrete explanation. This tends to be a regular problem with mental disorders, as they tend to be incredibly complex.
Getting Treatment For Bipolar Disorder
Finding good treatment can be difficult. For those struggling with bipolar disorder, individual therapy & outpatient mental health therapy can greatly benefit their disorder. However, the majority of the treatments for bipolar disorder come in two primary forms:
Medications prescribed are intended to treat the symptoms. These can include anti-psychotic pills, anti-anxiety pills, and anti-depressants. The decision will be left up to the doctor involved.
Psychotherapy is deciding to treat mental disorders with therapy (instead of medication). Many people speak with therapists about their abnormal emotional leaps, which helps them to process how they got there in the first place.
Eventually, the result can lead the person to better understand how their mind works. This strategy allows them to have greater control over their responses.
Below are some quick answers to frequently asked questions about bipolar disorders
What are the signs of a manic episode?
- Strong feelings of happiness
- Strong feelings of power and talent
- Poor judgement
- Racing thoughts
- Reduced need for sleep
In extreme cases, mania can be associated with cases of psychosis. This symptom leads to a complete disconnection with reality. These behaviors border on being incredibly risky.
What are the signs for a depressive episode?
- Feeling worthless and sad
- Having trouble sleeping
- Sleeping too much
- Thoughts of suicide
- Having little interest in activities
- Having no sex drive
- Talking slowly
- Being forgetful
While this is often confused with general depression, bipolar disorder cannot have one without the order. In some cases, people can experience symptoms from both episodes. It is usual for people to not know how they are feeling.
Getting Over The Stigma
To this day, we still have a significant stigma regarding Bipolar disorder. Regardless of what people may tell you, there is a natural bias towards people who willingly admit they have a mental problem. As a result, those with preferences cripple their ability to understand.
Through awareness of the history behind this, we can see that we have come to greater understanding. By knowing what to look for, we can find the triggers and strategies that will bring those who do not suffer to greater understanding. This will allow those who suffer from this disease to live without shame, which they should not experience in the first place.
Through consistent treatment which can be found through medication or therapy, sufferers can find some control in their mental paths. Regardless of their way, it is vital to understand and appreciate their journey. Doing so will ensure that they, or you, have an excellent support network.