Many times people use the term “bipolar” to refer to someone who may be exhibiting certain behaviors that may be considered atypical or out of the ordinary in certain situations. The behaviors or symptoms that some people are referring to might, in fact, have nothing to do with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder is a disorder of the brain that leads to unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and often leads to difficulties performing day-to-day tasks. The symptoms may be experienced in a moderate to severe manner. The symptoms of bipolar disorder affect individuals in their ability to relate to those around them in every social situation. Yet, bipolar disorder is a treatable illness that when managed effectively, allows individuals to lead a full and productive life.
Researchers believe that there is no single cause that leads to bipolar disorder. Factors that they have identified as being connected to this disorder include genetics, brain structure and function, and other environmental factors.
Bipolar disorder, as the name states, encompasses two intense emotional states that occur in distinct periods called "mood episodes." There is a state where persons experience manic episodes and then there is the state of depressive episodes. At times both emotional states may be experienced almost simultaneously. During a manic episode, a person may feel overly joyful or excited, irritable, or distracted. During a manic episode, a person may also go from one thing to another quickly, have an unrealistic view of one’s own abilities, or engage in risky behavior. Those are just a few symptoms or behaviors that may be exhibited during a manic episode. In a depressive episode a person may experience sadness, hopelessness, lack of interest in typical activities, lack of motivation, suicidal ideation, and problems concentrating or remembering things.
Although bipolar disorder cannot be cured, it can be treated effectively over the long-term. It is important to seek medical and mental health support to manage this disorder. The first step to alleviating difficulties is to find out the proper diagnosis. To have an effective treatment plan one should include a combination of medication and psychotherapy.
- Connect with a doctor about treatment.
- Seek a mental health specialist like Maria Rodriguez-Fischer, 919-401-8261.
- Eat nutritious meals on a regular basis.
- Sleep is very important.
- Stay on your medication.
- Learn about signs signaling a shift into depression or mania.
- Expect your symptoms to improve gradually, not immediately.
For more information or assistance, call Maria Rodriguez-Fischer at 919-401-8261.