Bipolar disorder is a condition characterized by mood swings that make people swing back and forth between good moods, depression, irritability, and anxiety. The shifting process can happen quickly or over time like weeks or months. Most people who have this condition are between the ages of 15 and 25.
There are different types of bipolar disorder. Bipolar 1 is described as having at least one or very few manic episode and long periods of deep depression. This used to be known as manic depression. The second type of this disorder is categorised as having longer periods of impulsiveness and high energy.
A milder form of bipolar disorder better known as cyclothymia is characterized with less mood swings. This is often misdiagnosed as depression and treated accordingly. This condition may be triggered by major life changes like childbirth, use of steroids and antidepressants, insomnia and drug abuse.
Most doctors can diagnose this disorder from a patient’s incoherent speech, unexplained depressive moods and sudden occasions of hypomania and hyperactivity. Some psychiatrists use blood tests and other techniques that involve people close to the patient. Bipolar disorder can be best diagnosed by conversing with a professional therapist or psychiatrist.
This disorder is usually treated with medication. The medicine should be prescribed by an MD, usually a psychiatrist. In some cases, psychologists or psychiatric nurses can also prescribe the treatments. The people who can distribute prescriptions depend on your state laws. Bipolar disorder is usually treated with mood stabilising medication.
Lithium, Valproic Acid, Divalproex Sodium and anticonvulsant lamotrigine medicines are the usual treatments given to people with bipolar disorder. Lithium is FDA approved while anticonvulsive medication and Valproic acid come with warnings of suicidal behaviour. Patients that exhibit this kind of behaviour during treatment are usually taken off their medication.
The prognosis of bipolar disorder can be severe and long-term or mild with infrequent attacks. People who have this problem can experience symptoms of depression and manic attacks at different rates and time-frames. With proper medication, episodes will happen less frequency and may be possibly eliminated in due time. Treating this condition in childhood can also prevent future incidents in adulthood.