What is Bipolar Disorder?
It’s an extremely destructive psychiatric disorder characterized by episodes of extreme moods. At one time an individual might be severely depressed to even attempt suicide. And a few months later the same person might be extremely euphoric to give away his entire savings and property to poor people.
What are the symptoms?
1. A person exhibits alternate episodes of mania and depression.
2. The episodes might last from as short as 1 week to 1 year.
3. The person requires treatment to control his behavior.
4. On extreme levels of the disorder, a person’s behavior is out of his own control.
5. The symptoms experienced during an episode of depression are (5 or more of the following symptoms):
a) Depressed or sad mood for most of the day.
b) Decreased interest or pleasure in almost all activities.
c) Weight changes- weight loss or weight gain without any effort for the same.
d) Sleep disturbance- decreased sleep or increased sleep throughout the day.
e) Individual is always restless or agitated and highly irritable.
f) fatigue or loss of energy throughout the day
g) Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt.
h) diminished ability to concentrate
i) Recurrent thoughts of death – suicidal attempts, or planning to commit suicide.
6. The Symptoms experienced during an episode of Mania are:
i) A period of more than one week of extremely euphoric, happy, expansive, or irritable mood.
ii) During this period 3 or more of the following symptoms:
a. inflated self-esteem or feeling of grandiosity
b. sleep problem- decreased need for sleep
c. more talkative than usual
d. person is continuously restless
e. experiences racing of thoughts
f. very easily distractible, attention focuses on non-important issues
g. Increased involvement multiple goal-directed activities at the same time, with failure to complete even single one of them.
h. excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have a high potential for painful consequences (e.g., engaging in unrestrained buying sprees, sexually promiscuous behavior or foolish business investments)
How to Treat it?
1. An immediate neuro-psychiatric check up is required. If delay is done a patient will either hurt himself or anyone near him.
2. Hospitalization if individual is suicidal or homicidal.
3. Medications are the main stay of treatment. And continue for long period of time.
4. Counseling helps an individual recognize his/her problem and seek help in time.