Chances are, if you read a health-
From Joy to Depression
In the past, you might have heard the term "bipolar" jokingly used to describe someone throwing a fit or acting in an immature manner. Though such quips might be in bad taste, they do allude to one of the main symptoms of bipolar disorder. Simply put, people with this condition lack control of their emotions, resulting in sudden and severe mood swings. These unexpected mood shifts can cripple a person's relationships with other people; they might explode at coworkers, feud with their partners and alienate their friends with emotional outbursts.
The mood swings bipolar sufferers endure can be divided into two categories, known as "manic episodes" and "depressive episodes." Common symptoms of a manic episode (also known as "manias") include overly happy and extroverted emotions. While this may not seem like that big of a problem, manias can cause a person to be excessively confident in their own abilities, to the point where they relentlessly pursue unrealistic and unattainable goals. Manic episodes can also cause sufferers to behave irrationally and impulsively, prompting the patient to engage in risky behaviors they otherwise would have avoided.
At the opposite end of the bipolar emotional spectrum are depressive episodes. As one might expect, a patient trudging through a depressive episode will often look dejected, downbeat and miserable. Depressive episodes can strip patients of their passions for their favorite activities, and the patient's sex drive might plummet to the point of being virtually nonexistent. Bipolar sufferers also report greatly diminished abilities to concentrate, remember certain facts and make decisions. In severe cases, a patient may serious contemplate or even attempt suicide.
These extreme emotional shifts can not only wreak havoc with a person's mental state, but they can also do so for long periods of time. At a minimum, both manic and depressive episode tend to last for about two weeks. Without proper treatment, manic episodes can linger for four months, and episodes of depression can persist up to nine months.
A person tends to exhibit the initial symptoms of bipolar disorder relatively early in life. It is estimated that approximately half of all bipolar patients begin to feel the onset of the condition before the age of 25. When these symptoms first appear, they may me mistaken for simply an unrelated series of emotional problems. Consequentially, many people with bipolar disorder can suffer for years without getting proper diagnosis and treatment.
While it may be difficult to determine if a friend or loved one has bipolar disorder, there are some symptoms that can help put the pieces of the puzzle tighter.
Poor Dietary and Sleeping Habits -
Poor Performance in the Office -
A Lack of Caution and Judgment -
In modern times, bipolar patients are often treated with anticonvulsant medications. This may seems like an odd choice, given that anticonvulsants are commonly used as seizure medications. However, theses medications also have the effect of stabilizing human emotions, thereby greatly lessening the impact of bipolar mood swings. Another tool that has long been used to alleviate bipolar episodes is Lithium, a medication specifically tailored to reign in runaway emotions. Not surprisingly, both anticonvulsants and Lithium carry a number of side effects; the former can cause dry mouth, indigestion, joint/muscle pain and brittle nails and hair, while the latter can lead to drowsiness, dizziness, headache, heartburn, digestive problems and mood swings.
Like other conditions that attack the mind, there is no silver bullet medication for bipolar disorder. A doctor may have to try several medicines before finding one the yields meaningful results. To make this task somewhat easier, patients are sometimes urged to keep a daily log of their emotional state, complete with their sleeping patterns, reactions to significant events and their responses to certain medications. While none of these medications completely eliminate the symptoms of bipolar disorder, they can allow patients have better control of their emotional state.
Bipolar disorder can be a miserable condition, one that impacts every part of the patient's life. Through proper medical care, it is possible for people afflicted with bipolar disorder to reassert a degree of control over their lives. ...