What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is called bipolar disorder. It was once known as a manic-depressive psychosis. Its main feature is the occurrence of episodes of depression, mania, hypomania or mixed episodes. There are periods of remission between these periods. It is a disease so serious that it is characterized by partial or complete inability to perform paid work. It usually starts at a young age. It is very difficult to diagnose. The course and prognosis depend primarily on early detection. Therapy is only possible if the patient is willing to participate in the treatment process.

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1. Characteristics of the disease

Bipolar disorder is primarily a group of affective disorders with characteristic recurrences of depressive episodes. Subtypes of Bipolar Disorder:

• type I - depressive episodes are interrupted by several episodes of manic, • type II - in depressive episodes there are several episodes of hypomania, • type III - depressive episodes keep recurring, states of hypomania are caused by too intense action of antidepressants, • seasonal - episodes of depression are characteristic of the autumn and winter season, • type III and half-mania or hypomania - the cause of the symptoms is the abuse of alcohol or other stimulants, • cyclothymia - a chronic condition in which dysthymia and hypomania alternate, • "soft" spectrum of bipolar disorder - there are no episodes of mania or hypomania, but bipolarity is present at the appropriate concentration, • unipolar mania - it occurs rarely, there are no depressive episodes, but manic states and hypomania recur all the time.

It is worth knowing that episodes of the disease may occur at different times (e.g. every few years). There is also bipolar disorder with rapid or very rapid phase changes and changes in phases. Depressive episodes last longer than manic or hypomanic episodes. In order for the patient to be treated properly, he / she must follow the doctor's instructions. The incidence of bipolar disorder The most common disorders are those belonging to the broad spectrum of this disease. Type I and II occur in 2 percent. cases. There is no gender distinction here. Depression can happen to both men and women.

In order to treat the disease effectively, it must be detected early

2. Symptoms of the disease

Different symptoms accompany a depressive episode than a manic one. A depressive episode is characterized by sadness, loss of will to live, constant fatigue, impaired concentration and memory, slowing down of thinking and expression. At the same time, psychomotor inhibition may occur. You can talk about him when the sick person remains motionless and you cannot make any contact with him. Depressive thinking, sometimes based on thoughts of suicide and productive symptoms, is characteristic. A manic episode is a time when you may feel overjoyed and euphoric. Such a state can very quickly turn into irritability and aggression. There are also auto-aggressive behaviors. A race of thoughts appears, which results in a stream of words, the formation of neologisms, etc. Additionally, the sex drive increases. During a manic episode, alcohol and substance abuse may occur. At the same time, the senses sharpen and the patient may make unfavorable decisions. Psychotic symptoms may occur in the course of severe mania. There are fewer symptoms in a hypomanic episode than in a manic episode. This type of episode is slightly shorter. Psychomotor drive and mood improvement appear. At the same time, we feel less need for sleep. Our pace of thinking is accelerated. There is a lower tendency to irritability in a hypomanic episode. Hypomania is characterized by problems with maintaining concentration and attention. The patient does not consider himself to be in need of medical attention. Such a condition is not often treated as a disease by the environment. A mixed episode is the simultaneous occurrence of depressive and manic (or hypomanic) symptoms. You may experience a rush of thoughts, anxiety or irritability with slowing down of your movement. The disease also has a time of remission, i.e. a condition in which no disease symptoms are present. Who is at risk of developing the disorder? Very often the question arises: "why did the disease happen to me?". The development of the disease can be influenced by many factors. The biological context associated with genetic factors and disturbances in the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain can be distinguished in particular. There are also physiological signs. The genetic background is mainly a predisposition. It can be said that there is an appropriate composition of genes that favors the development of the disease. We will also distinguish psychological, social and environmental factors. An example would be some traumatic event or a lack of a rhythmic lifestyle.

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3. Psychiatric help

Early detection is what counts in the effective treatment of bipolar disorder. Therefore, no symptoms should be underestimated. In case of mania, hypomania, or a mixed episode, see a doctor as soon as possible. It is worth watching the body's reactions. Then we will notice the cyclicality of symptoms very quickly.

4. The mechanism of the diagnosis of the disease

The diagnosis of the disease causes many difficulties. The disease is diagnosed when it has two relapses. The doctor first of all pays attention to the features of bipolarity. This means that the disease has many symptoms and individual behaviors. Problems with the diagnosis of the disease also concern character traits or temperamental traits. To determine the features of the disease, the patient completes a questionnaire.

5. Treatment methods

Psychoeducation plays a very important role. Self-awareness of the disease is a priority. Then appropriate remedial steps can be taken. Psychoeducation can take the form of support groups or individual education. It is very important that the patient learns to recognize episode harbingers. Psychotherapy always depends on the individual needs of the patient. Its main goal is the ability to control one's own behavior. Additionally, pharmacological treatment based on benzodiazepine and antidepressants is used.

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