Bipolar Disorder

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By Dr Milind Barhate , Psychiatry

Also called manic depression, bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes drastic mood swings. Depending on your current temperament, you might either be euphoric and full of energy or deeply depressed and hopeless. You might have difficulty performing your daily duties, or maintaining personal relationships.

You may display a wide variety of symptoms such as:

  1. Frequent sleeplessness or restlessness
  2. Feeling tearful and hopeless frequently for the major part of the day
  3. Having suicidal thoughts or attempts
  4. Loss of energy and fatigue
  5. Indecisiveness and inability to concentrate

Types of Bipolar Disorder-

  1. Bipolar I: You might have at least one manic and severe depression episode.
  2. Bipolar II: You might have experienced a couple of hypo-manic episodes, which are accompanied by excitability and high spiritedness. In women, the depression dominates the hypo-maniac episodes, whereas depression is usually the same or lesser than maniac episodes for men.
  3. Cyclothymic: This is a milder form of the disorder, accompanied by lighter depression phase(s).
  4. Rapid Cycling: It is characterized by rapid mood swings and a wide range of major depression episodes. You might experience depression, mania or mixed symptoms anytime in a day, a week or at the least four times in a year.

Bipolar disease is difficult to diagnose, especially among the younger population like children and adolescents, who exhibit a widely differing range of erratic behaviors. It could take several years to identify whether you have bipolar disorder, as one diagnosis usually doesn’t make the problem clear.

If left untreated, your episodes may worsen over a period of time in frequency and severity. It is best to be diagnosed at an earlier stage, so that you can have a healthier and happier life.