Characterized by severe mood swings such as recurring, interrelated episodes of extreme excitability and depression, bipolar disorder (BP) is among the major contributors of mortality and psychiatric disability across the world.
People with bipolar disorder are highly unpredictable due to frequent switching between extreme moods.
The episode associated with extreme low is referred to as manic depression or bipolar depression, whereas the episode of high euphoria is termed as hypomania.
Bipolar disorder develops in stages over years, mostly during childhood and puberty when pre-clinical symptoms including anxiety, impaired cognitive function, and sleep disruptions may occur frequently.
The initial episode of depression may run for several years before a hypomanic phase completes the bipolar cycle.
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
The severity and symptoms of bipolar disorder may vary. While some people may experience distinct manic or depressed states very frequently, some may live without symptoms for extended periods, sometimes for years. Generally, symptoms of bipolar disorder can be divided into two major phases:
Symptoms of a Manic Episode
Feeling highly excited, elated, or irritable
Feeling wired or jumpy
Feeling more active than usual
Rapid changes in moods
Feeling unusually talented, important, or powerful
Symptoms of a Depressive Episode
Feeling sad, worried, or empty
Lack of energy
Irregular sleep patterns
Difficulty in getting out of bed
Eating too much or too little
Having a hard time making decisions
Conditions That Can Co-Occur With Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder can coexist with other mental health conditions such as
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Misuse of Drugs or Alcohol
Causes of Bipolar Disorder
Although it is difficult to ascertain clear causes of bipolar disorder, persistent stress, heredity, chronic anxiety disorders, abnormal brain structure and function, among others may attribute to the problem.
Genetics and family history: Bipolar disorder can run in families. Studies suggest that people with certain genes are more likely to develop bipolar disorder. Research also suggests that children with a parent or sibling suffering from bipolar disorder are more likely to develop the illness.
Brain structure and functioning: As evident from studies, abnormal functioning of brain circuits involving serotonin (a chemical messenger) may attribute to mood disorders.
Environment and/or lifestyle changes: Individuals with bipolar disorder have a genetic predisposition to problems associated with the sleep-wake cycle that may trigger symptoms of depression and mania. For those who are genetically predisposed, environmental stressors also play a role in triggering bipolar episodes. As per research, children of parents with bipolar disorder often get surrounded by significant environmental stressors making them prone to developing the disorder.
At Athena, we have a specialized team of healthcare professionals that ensures proper diagnosis and subsequent treatment of various forms of bipolar disorder.
Athena’s Treatment Plan for Bipolar Disorder
At Athena, we integrate medication management, psychotherapy and experiential therapy in accordance with the specific requirements of an individual to treat bipolar disorder.
Some of the common medications used to treat bipolar disorder include mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and atypical antipsychotics.
Psychotherapy is an effective therapeutic approach to provide support, education and guidance to individuals with various behavioral health problems. Some of the commonly used psychotherapies include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), family-focused therapy, group and individual psychotherapy, interpersonal and social psychotherapy, and psychoeducation.
Athena Behavioral Health holds expertise in offering a multitude of non-chemical treatment modalities to help reduce the severity and occurrence of symptoms while preventing relapse and improving a patient’s cognition and self-awareness. Our innovative rehabilitation centers in India provide a safe and secure environment to help patients recover in minimum possible time.
In addition to CBT and psychoeducational groups, we are engaged in organizing experiential and alternative therapeutic activities aimed at stabilizing mood. Some of these activities include meditation, yoga and exercise, among others.
To know more about our treatment programs, call at our 24/7 helpline number 9289086193. Alternatively, you can also chat online with our mental health experts to understand how Athena can help you or a loved one overcome bipolar disorder.