Although a specific genetic connection to bipolar disorder has not been determined, studies show that 80 to 90 percent of people with this illness have relatives with some form of depression. It is also possible that people can inherit the tendency to develop the disease, which can then be caused by environmental factors.
What causes the Bipolar disorder?
Other research suggests that the disease may be caused by a biochemical imbalance which alters the person’s mood. This imbalance can be caused by irregular hormone production or a problem with certain neurotransmitters, which are chemicals in the brain that act as messengers to brain neurons.
What are the symptoms of bipolar disorder?
Bipolar disorder is often difficult to recognize and diagnose. One of the reasons is due to hypomania, which is an early sign of the disorder. Hypomania can cause the person to have a high energy level, unrealistic grandiose thoughts or ideas, and disturbing and alarming impulsiveness or behavior. These symptoms can feel like a good thing for the person, which can lead to denying that there is a problem. Another reason for the lack of recognition is that bipolar disorder can appear as symptoms of other illnesses or it can occur with other problems such as substance abuse, irregular behavior at school, or problems at your place of employment.
Symptoms of mania
- Symptoms of mania, which can last up to three months if left untreated, include:
- Increased energy, activity, restlessness, fast thinking, and fast talking
Denial that there is a problem
- Excessively “high” or euphoric feelings – the person feels “on top of the world” and nothing, including bad news or tragic events, can change this “happiness.”
- Extreme irritability and easy distraction
Reduced need for sleep — the person can go for days without sleep, or without feeling tired.
Unrealistic beliefs in having certain abilities and powers — the person may experience feelings of exaggerated confidence and unfounded optimism. This can also lead to overly ambitious work plans and the belief that nothing can stop you from reaching those goals.
- Lack of judgment that is out of character – the person can make poor decisions which can lead to false involvement in activities, meetings and goals, driving a car without knowing where they are going, uncontrollable spending and bad business ventures.
- Ongoing behavior that is different from other people’s usual behavior — the person may dress and / or act differently than he or she has done before. The person may become a collector of various items or become indifferent to personal care. He or she may become obsessive in writing or experience wishful thinking.
- Unusual sexual compulsion Drug abuse, particularly cocaine, alcohol, and sleep aids
Nosy or aggressive behavior
Symptoms of depression
Algunas personas experimentan períodos de ánimo y comportamiento normal después de una etapa maníaca; sin embargo, la etapa depresiva eventualmente aparecerá.
Los síntomas de la depresión incluyen:
Animo persistente de tristeza, ansiedad o de soledad
Sentimientos de desesperanza o pesimismo
Sentimientos de culpabilidad, desvalorización, o impotencia
Pérdida de interés o placer en actividades ordinarias, incluyendo el sexo
Decaída de energía, un sentimiento de fatiga o de siendo mas “lento”
Dificultad en la concentración, acordándose, o de hacer decisiones
Inquietud e irritabilidad
Trastornos del dormir
Pérdida de apetito o de peso, o aumento de peso
Dolor crónico u otros síntomas del cuerpo persistentes los cuales no son causados por enfermedades físicas
Pensamientos sobre la muerte o el suicidio; incluyendo atentados al suicidio Tratamiento
Anyone with bipolar disorder should be in psychiatric care. Encouragement and support from friends and family in acknowledging the problem and seeking help are the main keys to recovery.
If the person is in the middle of an episode, he or she may refuse to receive help. In this situation, it may be necessary to have the person hospitalized for their own protection so that they can receive much-needed treatment, particularly if the person is considering suicide.
Most people with bipolar disorder can be helped with medicine. Lithium is effective in controlling mania; carbamazepine and valproate (mood stabilizers and anticonvulsants) are also some of the medicines that are used. Furthermore, benzodiazepines and thyroid medicine can also help.
It is often suggested that people with bipolar disorder should also receive counseling, education, and support from a psychotherapist. A therapist can help the person cope with personal relationships, maintain a healthy self-image, and ensure that the person complies with their treatment. Psychotherapy can also help the person cope with the side effects of medicines.