Bipolar depression or manic depression is a serious form of mental health disorder that is characterized by unnaturally severe highs and lows in mood. While most people experience the ups and downs of life, these peaks and lows are extremely severe and can destroy or disrupt careers, relationships, productivity, and social life. Without treatment, bipolar disorder begins to deteriorate can causes serious complications in your life.
Bipolar depression is manageable but not curable. It is a chronic condition that lasts for years or sometimes even throughout the life. This is exactly why it is extremely important to identify the symptoms of manic depression and get immediate help. The first towards battling bipolar depression is identifying the problems and accepting them.
Characteristics of Bipolar Depression
Bipolar depression affects a person’s mood, energy levels and willpower, thinking and behavioral patterns. The person swings from extremely high emotional points known as mania to harsh depressive lows. These highs and lows last for days or weeks, whereas normal people only have momentary mood changes. The mood swings are strong enough to affect a person’s behavior and their ability to go ahead with your daily lives.
When the person is under mania, they behave impulsively such as quitting their jobs, taking random decisions, make huge irrelevant purchases on credit cards or sleep for only two hours. When the depressive phase hits, patients are often continuously exhausted, sometimes even unable to get out the bed. They are often filled with extreme self-loathing and hopelessness. There are also severe anger issues connected with bipolar disorder. Such anger episodes can be triggered by even the most mundane events. These anger episodes involve dangerously high levels of anger which often brings the patient to a tremble or teeth grinding. Such intense anger are also often followed by a burst of physical explosion such as tossing away smartphones, breaking objects in the house or even causing self-harm.
The early signs of bipolar disorder typically begin showing in late teenage years or during early adulthood. The exact causes of bipolar disorder are not known, but so far hereditary conditions have been linked to the sickness. Since the symptoms of early bipolar disorder are confusing and vague, there is often a chance of missing it or of a misdiagnosis which causes a lot of suffering in the later stages.
Through proper medication, therapy, self-care and the support of friends and family it is possible for those suffering from bipolar disorder to lead normal lives. It is not only possible to lead a fulfilling life but also to pursue personal ambitions.
Some Myths and Facts about Bipolar Disorder
Due to the complicated nature of bipolar disorder and the harsh and extreme symptoms, people suffering from this disease are often misunderstood. There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding bipolar disorder. Mentioned below are some myths and facts about the disease.
- It is definitely a myth that people suffering from bipolar disorder cannot have normal lives. There are many examples of people living with bipolar disorder who have successful careers, loving families and fulfilling relationships. It is not easy living with bipolar disorder, but with self-care, therapy, and medication, people cope with problems and carry on with their lives.
- Another popular myth regarding bipolar depression is that patients constantly swing between mania and depression. This is also not true. Depressive episodes are far more common than mania and there also anger episodes associated with it. Additionally, the episodes of mania might be less severe when compared with depression making them unnoticeable.
- Bipolar disorder is not just related to problems in the person’s mood but also has physical complications. It affects a person’s focus and concentration, memory, judgment, willpower, appetite, sleep, promiscuity and self-esteem.
- It is a myth that medication is the only solution for bipolar disorder. While medication plays one of the most important roles in managing bipolar depression, other vital activities such as regular exercise, healthy diet, therapy and other kinds of self-help strategies make recovery easier and faster. Having such a routine and healthy lifestyle also safeguards the patient against relapses.
Self-help strategies for Bipolar Disorder
While medication and therapy are necessary for managing this sickness, patients need to understand and practice certain self-help tactics in order to lead a normal and fulfilling life. Being surrounded by supportive people is not always possible. Mentioned below are some steps that patients suffering from bipolar disorder can take in order to care better for themselves.
- Being aware and educated- One of the first steps that patients can take is to get educated about bipolar disorder. By understanding the various conditions and symptoms, patients can identify their problems better and can be alert when they happen. Added to this, by being educated about their problems they can develop coping mechanisms that are compatible with their lifestyles.
- Do not ignore diet and exercise- People suffering from bipolar depression often find it difficult to get exercise or even do physically strenuous activities. But exercise and a healthy diet has shown very positive effects on mood and the overall mental state.
- Ask for help and support- Patients often isolate themselves, especially when they are going through a depressive phase. These periods of depressive episodes make it extremely difficult for patients to interact with other people or even seek help. Patients should make a conscious effort in talking and communicating with friends and family. The guidance and support of close friends are extremely beneficial in managing bipolar disorder.
- Monitor your moods and make better choices- One of the most popular strategies that people with bipolar disorder often employ is to maintain a mood journal. By maintaining a record of the mood swings and the situations and triggers that cause them, they learn to avoid harmful or stressful situations. By making healthier choices about lifestyle, relationships, and careers, bipolar disorder can be kept at bay. It is also important to reassess expectations and life goals and make a plan that takes into the account the various problems and motions of the sickness.
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