Bipolar affective disorder is a mental health problem that is also known as manic-depressive illness (MDI). People suffering from this condition has alternating episodes of mania and depression. With this mental condition, the patient finds it difficult to engage in regular work and might even avoid all regular activities. This happens in both men and women, most commonly between the ages 15 and 25. Bipolar affective disorder can be passed on from one generation to the next, and it affects different people in different ways. In the same vein, the duration of the manic or depressive episodes are never constant.
Types of bipolar affective disorder:
Mental disorders have to be properly identified, as only then can proper treatment be administered. Bipolar affective disorder may be classified into four major types. They are bipolar affective disorder I, II, cyclothymia or cyclothymic disorder, and rapid cyclic bipolar disorder. These are often differentiated by the periods of episode occurrences. There may also be times when the patient’s emotions or moods are indistinct; that is, depression and mania may occur simultaneously.
Bipolar affective disorder can be due to some changes in a person’s lifestyle. For instance, a sudden death of a loved one, divorce, financial difficulties, or losing one’s job may all be triggers for the onset of this disorder.
The drugs we consume as antidepressants or steroids, and even recreational drugs can trigger our nervous system and result in bipolar affective disorder. Childbirth can also become a cause of this condition. It can be an overwhelming experience, especially for first-time mothers, and the inability to cope with the new responsibility may bring about symptoms of this illness.
There are also days when a person goes through extreme restlessness or loneliness, compounded by confused thoughts or fear of something – these can all be possible causes of bipolar affective disorder.
People who are suffering from bipolar affective disorder may find it hard to focus on any work. They cannot even give proper judgment. They also cannot maintain interpersonal relationships as sometimes, they become unable to control their temper and take their anger out on the people around them. They often have racing thoughts and at times would feel extremely energetic, which happens during the manic phase. During this period, the person will also be talking endlessly, and will also become insatiable when it comes to sexual relations. They will also have no qualms about engaging in dangerous activities, and those who undergo the depressive phase may even attempt suicide.
Diagnosis and treatment:
Mental disorders are never easy to diagnose as they do not exhibit all the textbook symptoms. This disorder is also said to be hereditary, and this is why the psychiatrist delves into the family history during the diagnosis.
Mood swings can become quite dangerous and persons going through possible symptoms of bipolar affective disorder have to be tested immediately so the appropriate drugs can be administered. Medication is important as it corrects the chemical imbalance that is characteristic of many mental disorders. Depending on the symptoms, the doctor may advise hospitalization or a monitored recuperation at home.