Mood Regulation in Bipolar Disorder

16 Jul
2014
By Max Jones

Ups and downs are a part of every person’s life. People have to face these phases at some or other point in their lifetime. They face problems like bipolar disorder, which is a manic-depressive illness, and is regarded as a mental illness characterized by periods of elevated mood and depression. This disorder is also known as maniac depression which causes serious swings in mood, energy, thinking, and behaviour. The cycles of bipolar disorder lasts for days, weeks or even months. Moreover, the mood swings in bipolar disorder are so critical that they seriously interfere with your ability to function.

What are the causes of bipolar disorder?

There are various causes for every problem, but bipolar depression is something else. It is a fact that this disorder doesn’t have a single cause and it manifests as some physical change in the brains of people suffering from it. Some say that certain people are genetically predisposed to this problem but not everyone. Another research indicates to neurotransmitter imbalances, circadian rhythm disturbances and high levels of the stress hormone.

  • Genetic factors- Genetic cause accounts for about 60-80% of the bipolar disorder which indicates a strong hereditary component. Therefore, the family members of the sufferer have an increased risk of developing it themselves.
  • External environmental and psychological factors- These external factors are known as triggers. These may lead to new episodes of mania or depression and also make existing symptoms even worse.
  • Stress- Stressful life can trigger to bipolar disorder in someone with a genetic vulnerability. Stress related to drastic changes either good or bad such as getting married, losing a loved one or getting fired.
  • Substance abuse- Use of cocaine, heroin, alcohol and amphetamines can trigger the mania and it can bring back an episode and worsen the course of the disease. Abusive substance usage cause imbalance in the levels of one or more neurotransmitters.

Bipolar DisorderSigns and symptoms of bipolar disorder:

Every disease and illness has some symptoms that confirm the problem and lead to diagnosis followed by treatment. Bipolar disorder is a mental condition in which a person’s mind fluctuates between mania and depression. Maniac depression may create problems with your job and school performance, ruin your relationships and also disrupt your daily life. Basically, it is treatable but many people are not able to recognize the signs. Without any treatment, bipolar disorder worsens day by day.

So, it is very important to know what the symptoms are:

  • Irritability
  • Feeling hopeless and sad
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Physical and mental sluggishness
  • Inability to experience pleasure
  • Loss of interest in hobbies and activities including sex
  • Appetite or weight changes
  • Insomnia
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt

Basically, symptoms include four types of mood episodes like mania, hypomania, depression, and mixed episodes.

  • Signs of mania– In this phase of bipolar disorder, feelings of heightened energy, and euphoria are common. People dealing with manic episode often sleep very little and are hyperactive. Sometimes they also feel like they are very powerful, or destined for greatness.
  • Triggers– Bipolar disorder may be triggered by physical illness, sleep disturbances and overwhelming problems in day to day life like problems with money, work or relationships.
  • Hypomania signs and symptoms- In this episode of bipolar disorder, people feel energetic and productive. This episode is a less severe form of mania. Hypomania may result in bad decisions, which can harm relationships, careers, and reputations.
  • Depression signs– In this stage people lose contact with reality and experience major hindrance in work and social functioning, feel sad and also cry a lot.
  • Signs of mixed episode– This episode of bipolar depression, features symptoms of both mania and depression. Some of the common signs of mixed episode are depression combined with anxiety, insomnia and distractibility. The sufferer is at high risk of attempting suicide in this phase of depression.

Complications of bipolar disorder:

People suffering from this disorder can hurt themselves. for instance, They can harm themselves by cutting their wrists or other parts of their body, which include an injurious attempt to cope up with overpowering negative emotions like extreme anger, anxiety and frustration. These acts are usually repetitive, not a one-time act.

Types and diagnosis:

Diagnosis is very important before every treatment. But ahead of diagnosis, it is important to know the type of the disease. There are four basic types of bipolar disorder:

  • Bipolar I disorder- This type includes manic or mixed episodes that last for seven days. Its symptoms are so severe that the sufferer needs immediate hospital care.
  • Bipolar II disorder- Depressive and hypomania episode’s symptoms are the major problems in this type of disorder.
  • Bipolar disorder not otherwise specified– This type is diagnosed when symptoms of the illness exist but do not meet the diagnostic criteria of bipolar I or II. Symptoms in this type of disorder are out of person’s normal comprehension.
  • Cyclothymic disorder– This type is a mild form of bipolar disorder. In this type, people face episodes of hypomania as well as mild depression for at least 2 years.

For diagnosis, doctors or health care professionals conduct a deep physical examination, an interview and several lab tests. Bipolar disorder cannot be identified through blood test, but the above mentioned tests can help rule out the factors and treatment procedures. After diagnostic tests, the doctors will definitely advice the patient to undergo a suitable treatment.

Treating bipolar disorder:

Treatment of bipolar disorder is conducted under the supervision of a doctor or health care professional. It is their call, which procedure they follow or tell the patient to do. Basically, treatment of bipolar disorder includes:

  • Learning skills to tolerate distress and refrain from self-harm.
  • Structured psychotherapies like exercises to tolerate distress skills
  • Talk therapy, an important part of treatment. During treatment, doctors discuss feelings, thoughts and behaviours with you that cause you problems. This therapy helps you in understanding the problems that hurt your ability to function well in life. Further, talk therapy helps you in maintaining a positive self-image.
  • Behavioural therapy focuses on the processes that help reduce stress.
  • Cognitive therapy includes learning to identify and change the patterns of thinking

If you find any type of disorder and symptoms of depression or mania, rush to your doctor or mental health provider because this disorder doesn’t get better on its own. So, getting treated from a health care provider can help you get your symptoms under control.

Moreover, for effective treatment of bipolar disorder, people can avai consultation and importance of various online pharmacies. They can also read various blogs and articles related to their problem and seek help from them.

Final words:

Many people suffering from bipolar disorder don’t get the effective treatment they need. People having mood extremes often do not recognize how much their emotional instability disrupts their lives and the lives of their loved ones. However, in bipolar disorder, euphoria is always followed by an emotional crash that may leave you depressed and perhaps in financial, legal or relationship trouble. So, try to find out the problems immediately and seek professional advice so that you and your family live free without any disturbance.

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Max Jones

A compulsive reader and a writer with a diploma in nutrition and diet. In my free time I love to explore my city while I promote pedal-biking.

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