What Is Bipolar Disorder ?

What Is Bipolar Disorder ?

What is bipolar disorder
What is bipolar disorder

The bipolar disorder which is also known as “Manic Depressive Disease” defines the periodic occurrence of two opposing moods

Excessiveness happiness (manic period) and excessive depression (Depression) follow each other in a cycle. As these two moods can be experienced as manic and depressive for 6 months a year, it can be experienced on the same day as well (mixed type)
The worldwide bipolar disorder prevalence is 2-3%. It is a process that usually starts in the 20s. Researchers have proven that 2 of every 3 bipolar disorder patients experience this case due to genetic predisposition. The causes of bipolar disorder apart from genetic factors are as follows:
  • Abnormal changes that occur during the transport of the chemical substances that provide neural conduction between cells in the brain and their levels. This change disturbs the communication in the brain; it makes the emotional state, learning capacity and memory of the person upside down.
  • Traumatic events and excessive stress factors that psychology has hard times to cope with can destroy the chemistry of the brain (Situations such as witnessing the horrific death of a person you love, being hostage, physical or psychological violence, staying in a place where no one can hear or see you, losing your job when you have plenty of debts, losing your child are traumatic and serious stress factors).

What Is the Likelihood Experiencing Bipolar Disorder ?

What Is the Likelihood Experiencing Bipolar Disorder
What Is the Likelihood Experiencing Bipolar Disorder
In case there is no one with this order from your family or relatives, then the likelihood of experiencing this disease is 1-2%. In case it exists in close or distant relatives, then the likelihood will be around 7-8%. In case one of the maternal twins experience bipolar disorder than the other twin have the risk around 45-60%.
As can be seen from these statistics genetic predisposition is an important determinant in bipolar disorder. When severe stress situations or traumatic events are combined with genetic predisposition, the chances of the disease will be much more.


What Kind of Disease Bipolar Disorder Is ?

What is bipolar disorder?
What Kind of Disease Bipolar Disorder Is
We have met with people who do not have stable thoughts and take decisions which are out of the logic at least once in our lives. We usually stay away from such people because we want to trust the people in our lives, know what kind of a reaction they will give to certain events.
People who are sure of themselves, able to think logically, take good decisions and act by thinking the results are always gains. On the contrary, we only get hurt. Right at this point, those with bipolar disorder experience a big disappointment in social life and they are not accepted by their environment. These social traumas are undesirably echoed in their psychology and all of these echoes may lead to drug addiction or suicide in those people poor psychology. This is why bipolar disorder is considered to be one of the serious psychiatric diseases and must be treated absolutely.
Bipolar disorder can exhibit seasonality. These people usually experience the manic period starting from the beginning of the spring to the end of the summer and experience the depressive period starting from the beginning of the fall to the end of the winter. The most negative echoes of the seasonal transitions can be seen in patients with bipolar disorder.
The diagnosis of bipolar disorder is very challenging. The reason for this is that the manic period is sneaky. Depression may be observed during the first period and then the manic period will be revealed. If direct depression treatment is applied when going to the hospital during this period, things may be more complicated during the manic period. Depression drugs alone will affect the severity of manic attacks and the person will experience more challenge in order to control his or her mood when she will transit to the manic period from the depressive period. This is why the physician makes a thorough assessment of the situation with both the person himself and his family for the diagnosis. Especially the things that family tells are important because the patient’s awareness of his condition is poor and he lost his ability for proper assessment.

What Are Bipolar Disorder Symptoms ?

Bipolar disorder usually starts with depression (depression period) and it continues in this manner for a long time. It is a period that patients feel depression in both spiritual, social and economic sense. The symptoms include the followings:
  • Unhappiness,
  • Unable to enjoy anything,
  • Meaningless life,
  • Lost of self-confidence,
  • Pessimism, regret, guilt, and despair,
  • Decreased or increased appetite,
  • Feeling invaluable,
  • Non-organic muscle pain and tension sensation,
  • Wishing death (There are suicide attempts. It is the clinical dimension of the depression).
What are the symptoms of bipolar disorder?
What is the indication of bipolar disorder?
The period of depression that usually occurs in autumn and winter ends with the arrival of spring and the person starts to feel better than ever. An enthusiastic and productive period is experienced during the transition period from depression to “mania“. It is a period which feels good and looks positive. Both the patient and his family will be quite satisfied with this situation.
The person will not have any problems in his social relations and even he can get better. The person may quit depression drugs by relying on this and take make responsibilities by relying on his productivity. This period is called “hypomania period“. It is the lighter version of the mania period. Mania period will begin after the short hypomania period. This is a period which is troublesome and dangerous as depression. The symptoms of mania are as follows:
  • Broken thoughts and conversations followed one after each other,
  • Sleeping less and denying the need of sleeping,
  • Being energetic and cheerful,
  • Feeling more intelligent, talented and superior to others,
  • Being keen to excitement and fun,
  • Lack of concentration,
  • Acting without thinking the outcomes (such as excessive and unconscious spending, over speeding when driving, taking responsibilities which the person is not able to fulfill, having too much sexual intercourse and trying risky positions during these sexual intercourses…),
  • Unable to fully focus on things,
  • Aggression in cases which do not comply with his interests,
  • Getting involved in fights easily and playing deadly games.
The following psychotic attacks can be also be seen during mania in some severe cases:
  • Imagining to be followed,
  • Suspecting everything,
  • Seeing imaginary things,
  • Thinking to have superior abilities,
  • Hearing supernatural voices.
What Is Bipolar Disorder
What Are Bipolar Disorder Symptoms

This mania period can make the person lose many things. Unconscious expenses confront the person and the family with economic problems. Excessive dangerous behavior (such as driving the car fast) threatens the life of both himself and others. Since the person will act in line with his urges, he can have sexual intercourse with many people. And this increases the risk of getting sexually transmitted diseases. Also, people, they will be friends during this mania period may be a trouble in the future. Since patients with bipolar disorder in mania period meet everything normal, their parents need to take lots of responsibility. Treatment should be started immediately by hospitalizing the patients in the name of not experiencing greater problems.


Which Specialist Do You Need to Apply for the Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder ?

Fluctuations in the mood of a person with symptoms of bipolar disorder may be alarming. This is why it is important to consult a physician and start the treatment. The first department that the person should consult must be psychiatry. A psychiatrist is a person who will diagnose your psychological problem as well as investigate your chemical structure. Besides this, it is important to consult to psychiatry because there are medicines that should be used regularly.
Also, psychologist support is required in order to increase the quality of life and continue to social life. Unlike psychiatry, psychologists who do not have the permission to prescribe drugs will apply treatment methods more through communication. Psychologist support is also very important in order to continue your social life and being able to continue your engagement with your environment.
Psychologists will give weekly and monthly assignments to people with bipolar disorder. Keeping a diary, traveling, self-monitoring and follow-up processes are some of these. Fulfilling these assignments makes it possible for a person to psychologically defeat his disease.


How Is Bipolar Disorder Diagnosed ?

How Is Bipolar Disorder Diagnosed
How Is Bipolar Disorder Diagnosed
It is very important to follow the symptoms of bipolar disorder. The person will exhibit two opposite poles in two opposite periods. Physician examination must be performed when several of these symptoms will occur consecutively. It will be much easier to diagnose after physician check. A special scan is performed for bipolar disorder in addition to the examination. In addition to this, your physician will look at your personal medical history and search for clues.
Genetics has a very important place in bipolar disorder. This is why the physician will meet all members of your family, and review their medical histories as well. Some tests will be done against the possibility that there may be another disease that may affect your mood. A clear diagnosis will be possible to make after the psychological tests have been completed with physiological tests.

How Is Bipolar Disorder Treatment ?

How is bipolar disorder treated?
How is bipolar disorder treated?
When mental health expert diagnosis a patient with bipolar disorder, he or she will determine an appropriate treatment process according to the patient’s status and social position. First of all, the physician will prescribe “mood stabilizer drugs” in order to prevent the dangerous attacks of the patient. These stabilizing drugs are life-saving in hypomania, mania, depression and mixed periods. Thus, material or moral damages which are experienced in the vortices of the flood and the depression are prevented and the mood will be under the control.
When the patient transits into the depression period, the physician also includes the “antidepressive drugs” into the treatment along with mood stabilizers drugs. It is not right to use the antidepressive drugs in bipolar disorder alone during the depression period. Mood stabilizers drugs should never be quitted. In case the patient will quit, the manic period will be more severe. Patients should not quit their drugs by relying on their current psychology. This is a lifetime treatment process.
The physician can also prescribe “antipsychotic” drugs in severe manic attacks where psychotic symptoms such as hallucination and hearing the voices that don’t exist seen. Although rare, psychotic symptoms can also be seen during the depression period. In this case, antipsychotic drugs can be added to preventive treatment.
Psychotherapy” is also included in the treatment process of bipolar disorder. Since people take to annoying decisions in terms of both social and economic sense during both manic and depressive periods, psychotherapists will be a guide to these additional problems to be resolved in the most appropriate way. In addition, therapists train patients on stress and attack control. As individual therapies can be applied; “group therapy” or “family therapy” can also be carried out when deemed necessary.
Mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and antipsychotics will show their effect within 1-2 weeks. Physicians can prescribe ataractic drugs in order to calm the attacks of the patient until this effect will be seen. The patient should discuss the situation when the drugs will lead to side effects or any other cases. Thus, the dose or type of drug will be re-evaluated.
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), ie shock therapy can be performed in cases where drug therapy and therapy are not enough. It will be life-saving for severe and unmanageable depression and manic attacks.

Does Bipolar Disorder Require to Be Hospitalized ?

Does bipolar disorder require hospitalization?
Does bipolar disorder require hospitalization?
Bipolar disorder is a disease that requires support during the entire lifetime of the patient. This is why the important thing is how the patient resists to the disease. Rejection of the treatment, denial of the disease will only lead to the situation of the patient to worsen and progress of the disease. Although being hospitalized is not in question during the early stages of the disease, the situation may worsen in the following stages. Therefore, starting to damage himself or his environment will be enough for the patient to be hospitalized.
The most common condition in patients with bipolar disorder is a suicidal tendency. The will to kill himself is the symptoms of the final stage. Therefore it will not be easy for him to be left alone at home or being taken care by 1-2 people. The recommendation of the physicians in such cases is the hospitalization of the patient. The hospitalized patient will begin to the treatment process again. As there are patients who recover at the end of the process, there are patients who still need some time.


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