Is Bipolar Disorder A Mood Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is associated with drastic shifts in mood, behaviors, and energy levels. Bipolar disorder was previously known as manic depressive illness or manic depression. This condition usually affects a person’s ability to perform day-to-day activities. Bipolar disorders are diagnosed according to the severity of mood changes (characterized as hypomanic/manic and depressive episodes). 

Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder

Symptoms of bipolar disorder can be different between individuals. For some people, when they experience bipolar disorder, it can last for months or even years. A person can experience four or more bipolar episodes in a year.

Mania Or Hypomania

Hypomania and mania are the significant symptoms of bipolar disorder. Although, mania appears to be more severe than hypomania. Symptoms can include:

  • Impaired judgment
  • Feeling wired
  • Less sleep without any sign of tiredness
  • Feeling  distracted or bored
  • Missing appointments, classes, or work
  • Low performance at work or school
  • Lack of enthusiasm to do anything
  • Engaging in risky and violent behaviors
  • Increased libido
  • Feeling euphoric and ecstatic
  • Feeling too self-confident, selfish, and arrogant.
  • Talking too much and too fast
  • Speaking erratically on multiple topics in a discussion
  • Racing thoughts and unrealistic planning
  • Not taking responsibility for your actions or denying your faults

People with bipolar disorder tend to engage in frivolous spending on drugs and alcohol and engage in some dangerous activities.

Depressive Symptoms

When a person goes through bipolar depression episodes, they may experience the following symptoms:

  • A feeling of hopelessness and despair
  • Extreme sadness
  • Insomnia and sleeping problems
  • Anxiety about minor problems
  • A misplaced sense of guilt
  • Over- or under-eating
  • Weight loss
  • Weight gain
  • Extreme tiredness and fatigue
  • Feeling less enthusiastic about any event or activity 
  • Lack of focus
  • Irritability
  • Sensitive to smell, noise, and other insignificant things
  • Lack of interest in school or work resulting in underperformance

In extreme cases, the individual may start to entertain suicidal thoughts, and sometimes they execute the ideas.

Causes Of Bipolar Disorder

There are different causes of bipolar disorders, and they’ll be examined below:

  • Genetic Factors

People who have a family member or relative that have bipolar disorder are more likely to develop bipolar disorder. This is a result of some genetic factors that may be involved.

Chemical imbalance in the brain

Bipolar disorder is widely believed to result from chemical imbalances in the brain.

The chemicals responsible for controlling the brain’s functions are neurotransmitters and include noradrenaline, serotonin, and dopamine.

There’s some evidence that if there’s an imbalance in the levels of 1 or more neurotransmitters, a person may develop some symptoms of bipolar disorder.

For example, there’s evidence that episodes of mania may occur when levels of noradrenaline are too high, and episodes of depression may be the result of noradrenaline levels becoming too low.

  • Environmental Factors

Life events or situations that an individual has experienced can lead to stress, which can trigger mood disorders like bipolar disorder. These events could be traumatic and could trigger specific changes in behaviors or moods.

Treatment For Bipolar Disorder

Treatment for bipolar disorder tends to focus on mood stabilization so patients can reliably navigate their daily responsibilities and maintain relationships.

The different types of therapies  for treatment include:

  • Counseling
  • Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (IPSRT).
  • Psychoeducation
  • Family-focused therapy

It can be challenging to get the best diagnosis and treatment because individuals do not react similarly and suffer from different bipolar symptoms.

Conclusion

Bipolar disorder can cause more than fluctuating mood and changes in behavior. For some, the condition escalates to depression and suicidal ideation. Ketamine therapy works as an antidepressant and mood stabililzation treatment. It is an excellent option for anyone struggling with bipolar symptoms, especially those who have had little luck with other treatment options.

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