Everyone has mood swings and no one is an exception. However, if the mood swings affect our ability to function. If the periods of mood elevation or that of low mood last days or even weeks. If the mood changes are associated with characteristic features, then Bipolar as a diagnosis should be considered. Bipolar Disorder is a relatively common mental health condition. It is associated with long-lasting periods of mood changes. There are different types of Biopolar. They are characterised by different symptoms. The following article is about bipolar disorder definition and its characteristic symptoms.
What is Bipolar Disorder?
Also know as manic depression. Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition with longer-lasting consistent mood changes. It also associated with characteristic features or “signature”. In a defining bipolar article, it said that these are present during those periods of extreme mood. It can affect a person directly and indirectly. In fact, It affects a person’s state of mind, judgement, sleep patterns, behaviour, character and decision making. For example, when someone is experiencing an extreme state of mood, they might behave in a way that is not normal for them. These actions may have knock-on effects. When someone is unwell from their bipolar there may be unintended effects on friends, family and work colleagues.
Sounds like a helpless situation? Actually, no.
Bipolar disorder may be a lifetime illness. Managing it can depend mainly on one’s beliefs. Controlling the disorder to an extent of a person’s mood swings and other related symptoms are achievable. So, this can be done through a well rounded mental health care program. One that is tailored to the individual, emotional and psychological needs of the person with bipolar disorder.
So, what are the types and symptoms of Bipolar Disorder?
There are actually a few types of bipolar related disorders. They exhibit different bipolar symptoms such as mania, hypomania and depression. The distress felt may definitely lead to difficulties across all aspects of life. As mentioned above Bipolar can affect our sleep, energy levels and think overall.
Bipolar 1 Disorder
A person has had at least one episode of mania. A manic episode is sometimes associated with psychosis. Psychosis is a state of altered reality. A manic episode is a long-lasting period, over 7 days of elevated mood.
Bipolar 2 Disorder
A person has had at least one episode of hypomania. There are no psychotic symptoms. This is not a milder bipolar disorder. It is a separate diagnosis. Individuals who suffer from Bipolar type 2 Disorder can go through a series of depressive episodes.
A person has had at least two years of uncommon periods of hypomania symptoms and periods of depressive symptoms. The mood changes are not as extreme but follow a cyclical nature.
It should be noted that bipolar disorder can be triggered at any point in a person’s life. It can happen at any age. However, bipolar disorder is often diagnosed around the mid-20s. Bipolar symptoms are distinct and can vary from one person to another.
The following video on defining bipolar by one of our Psychiatrist at Epsychiatry will help you understand how you can help someone who struggles with this condition. The video discusses bipolar disorder definition, warning signs, features of bipolar, and what you can do if and when you think the person is becoming unwell.
What are Mania and Hypomania?
Bipolar features Mania and Hypomania caused by bipolar disorder are distinct from each other. However, they do share the same symptom foundations. When defining bipolar, It may be noted though that mania is a bit more severe than Hypomania. Mania causes problems at work, school commitments. In fact, it also does affect the social activities of a person. Our friends may notice that we aren’t our usual self. This may cause difficulties when it comes to building and maintaining relationships. Mania when significant can result in hospitalisation.
What are the symptoms, you may ask?
- Restlessness or Agitation
- Increased energy
- Excessive happiness or an increased self-confidence or well-being.
- Sleeping hours are drastically less.
- Extremely talkative, speaking louder and over others.
- Thoughts race, inability to finish compose or keep a thought without jumping from one topic
- Easily Distracted.
- Altered judgement or thought processes that are different to usual.
Major Depressive episodes, what is this about?
A person who suffers from major depressive episodes as one of the features caused by bipolar disorder can struggle with the following. They find it hard to maintain motivation, good energy level and feel happy. Psychologists identify distinct symptoms associated with depression. Some are poor sleep, appetite changes and not being able to enjoy activities. Psychologists take these signs into consideration. They use it to formulate a management plan. In bipolar disorder definition, Major depressive episodes include the following signs and symptoms:
- Prolonged feeling of sadness, hopelessness and being tearful.
- For some, high emotions of irritability are an indicator.
- No sense of pleasure or inability to feel happy or satisfied.
- Extreme weight loss or gain.
- Poor sleeping patterns, either a person sleeps too much or not enough.
- Loss of energy.
- Inability to decide, think or concentrate.
- Thoughts of suicide.
One must get help if suicide suddenly becomes an ongoing thought. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging one’s fears. It is best to identify what troubles us. A mental health care plan can be a solution. Meanwhile, people need to realise that psychology or psychiatry may just be the “key” as they will be defining bipolar disorder and makes you aware of it. Therefore, If you feel you can benefit from professional mental health input. Then, speak to your family doctor. After all, we all deserve to be happy. Therefore, it’s important to get help from mental health professionals to achieve it.