Sunday, March 31, 2013

Signs of Bipolar Disorder - Look Out!

There are quite a few signs of bipolar disorder that are pretty harmful and serious. If you are suffering from this disorder or know someone who does, it is important that you know what to look out for.

Here are some warning signs:

  • Unusual and prolonged periods of euphoria;

  • Over-agitation, over-irritability and annoying moods which are beyond normal limits;

  • Intense impulses regarding indulging in sex, shopping sprees, business investments, etc.;

  • Frequent racing thoughts causing lack of sleep and extreme restlessness;

  • Hallucinations that go far beyond existing reality;

  • Too many problems regarding work or school that cannot be attributed to alcohol or substance abuse;

  • Many suicidal thoughts;

  • Extreme energy while feeling severely lost, empty or hopeless.

Signs of bipolar disorder can be so severe that they impact the work or study life of the individual with erratic mood episodes that the person requires professional help. These signs are reported by the patient or her immediate family and circle of friends because it generally affects the social interaction of the patient.

Severely unstable mood swings happening in a day or week - from being too annoyed to being too excited - are common. Hallucinations and delusions may occur along with unusually intense mood episodes. Exaggerated and abnormal jumps in mood swings, from being overly happy to being overly depressed, are also characteristic of the disorder.

How is the problem ruled out?

There are series of lab tests, physical exams and other tests conducted to get a full diagnostic picture. It is only a psychiatrist who can definitely rule out the possibility of this disorder and the treatment plan necessary. But after the tests, a thorough interview is required for the doctor to get the patient's family profile by getting the complete historical symptoms relating to family members, which may include talking to a parent, sibling or spouse; as such, friends and family members play an important role in determining the patient's medical profile.

Depressed people are the ones seeking help the most often, but the medical professional must be able to distinguish their symptoms from those who suffer from unipolar depression and who don't experience mania.

How to treat bipolar depression disorder?

No cure has yet been discovered to banish this illness, but there are available treatment combinations depending on the diagnosis. Since this is a lifelong illness, a long-term medication plan is suggested that combines both psychotherapy and medication. There are cases where treatment plans have to be altered to find out what works best for a given patient.

Behavioral patterns are studied and observed via a daily life chart to ascertain the effects of the medication in place. If some changes in behavior and mood episodes occur, the doctor may add or reduce some medication as he deems necessary to lessen the signs of bipolar disorder.

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