Bipolar disorder, formerly called manic-depressive illness, is one of several diseases known as mood disorders. Mania and depression alone or in combination are the main features of mood disorders. Mania is characterized by a feeling of euphoria in which the individual has grandiose ideas, displayed boundless energy, needs little sleep, and displays great confidence. While in a manic state thoughts racing people, they speak very fast, and they demonstrate a lack of judgment. Manics can impulsively spend lots of money, commit sexual indiscretions, and turn people away with their irritability and impatience. Hypomania refers to a mild form of mania is an excessive amount of excitement, but do not materially impair the life of the individual.
Depression can be characterized by many symptoms, including feelings of worthlessness, guilt and sadness. When someone is depressed, life seems empty and overwhelming. Physical symptoms may include gain or lose weight, sleep too much or too little, restlessness or lethargy. Depressed people may be preoccupied with death or suicide. Bipolar disorder is so called because those who suffer from both the experience of mania and depression, unlike those with unipolar disorder, experiencing only an extreme, usually depression. Bipolar disorder is classified into two types, bipolar I and bipolar II. In bipolar I mania the individual experiences and depression; Bipolar II in the individual experiences hypomania and depression. Mania or hypomania, is the key to the diagnosis of bipolar disorder. A person who has a manic state, even once is alleged to have bipolar disorder. Some people called rapid cycling, will experience four or more episodes per year.
The age of onset of bipolar disorder is younger than for unipolar depression and typically begins in late adolescence or early twenties, but rarely begins after 40 years in some cases, it is preceded by a disorder called cyclothymia, which is the mildest form of mood disorder characterized by mood swings and regular changes in mood for at least two years. Bipolar disorder is a chronic disease and even treatment with less than half of people who have to go five years without a manic or depressive episode. People bipolar sufferers are at risk of suicide in the depressive phase and are more prone to accidental death in the manic phase, because of the impulsivity and poor judgment.
Family studies and adoption has always indicated a genetic predisposition to mood disorders. first-degree relatives of people with bipolar disorder are much more likely than the general population to suffer from bipolar depression, unipolar depression and anxiety. Neurotransmitters in the brain has been extensively studied and are probably involved in bipolar disorder, but complex and interactive ways not yet understood. There is also speculation that bipolar disorder may be related to circadian rhythms, because some people with bipolar disorder are particularly susceptible to anomalies and light show in sleeping patterns, such as the introduction of REM sleep very quickly, dreaming intensely, and lacking the deep sleep phases.
Stressful life events may precipitate episodes of mania or depression, but does not seem to be the main cause of bipolar disorder. Psychosocial factors, such as attribution style, learned helplessness, attitudes and interpersonal relationships all seem to correlate with bipolar disorder, but are not identified as causes; they are often the result of having such a disorder. It seems that a genetic vulnerability and the psychological and socio-cultural events of stress can cause bipolar disorder.
Three primary treatment modalities are most often used for bipolar disorder. For reasons not fully understood, lithium reduced the frequency of episodes, and many people with bipolar disorder are maintained on lithium for long periods. Lithium levels must be carefully monitored by blood tests, and there can be side effects such as weight gain, lethargy, and kidney dysfunction. Because of the side effects of drugs and because they lack the power of hypomania and mania, people with bipolar disorder can stop their medication. ECT, to treat people who do not respond to other forms of treatment, it is often effective, but it is subject to side effects: temporary loss of short term memory and confusion immediately after treatment.
Psychotherapy is the third treatment approach. Although many psychotherapeutic approaches have been tried, cognitive therapy and interpersonal therapy are currently the most popular. Cognitive therapy focuses on identifying and correcting faulty thinking styles and attributional, so the customer can make the cognitive control of emotions. Interpersonal therapy focuses on developing skills to identify and resolve interpersonal conflicts that often accompany bipolar disorder. Many people receive a combination of both medication and psychotherapy to stabilize and prevent a relapse.
In addition to treating the possible causes of bipolar disorder, psychotherapists help people face a number of problems in life with the disease. The first is the difficulty of living with interruptions for life as manic and depressive states bring. A third common problem is to face negative reactions and mistrust of the family, friends and co-workers who have been affected by extreme mood swings guys. Regular intake of drugs is a struggle for some people, a fight that is compounded by the tendency for people in a state of mania or hypomania feel they do not require medication. People with bipolar disorder lot of constant anxiety that your feelings can get out of control. People with bipolar disorder have therapists who help them to exert cognitive control of emotions, recognize when they get too high or too low, managing relationships, cope with the stress of life, and to understand how to accept and living with bipolar disorder success.