Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depression, is a psychological illness. It manifests itself in both forms; episodes of depression and episodes of mania. Bipolar disorder comes under the broad spectrum of mood disorders, during which one suffers drastic mood swings. Bipolar disorder can influence any gender, age, and society and it usually develops into a noticeable degree in adolescent years. As the disorder progresses, episodes become acute and unpredictable. People suffering with bipolar disorder experience tremendous high in a form of great energy, hyper activity, and self esteem when in manic state, where as in depressive state they experience keen sadness, loss of interest in everything, and suicidal thoughts. There are two types of bipolar disorder; bipolar disorder 1 and 2. Bipolar disorder is a chronic illness but it can be controlled by psychotherapy and appropriate plan of medications.
Causes and other Factors:
Extensive researches and studies in the field of biological and psychological sciences indicate several factors as the causes of bipolar disorder but exact source is still under study.
• Biological Causes and Factors: Numerous reasons strongly suggest that bipolar disorder has biological roots:
o Bipolar disorder responds to biological and chemical drug treatment programs.
o Like any physical illness bipolar disorder disrupts daily body functioning capacity.
o Bipolar disorder is heritable and genetically transmitted illness, as evidence has been found that in 90% cases mania and depression runs in family.
o Neurobiological dysfunctions (brain’s inability of function) are recorded as another major cause for bipolar disorder. An imbalance chemical release from neurotransmitters (brain cells) contributes to depression.
o Hormones play a significant role in bipolar disorder as hormones regulates basic bodily functions.
• Psychological Causes and Factors: Psychological studies have exclusively focused on depressive episodes, because strong biological evidence have been presented and granted for mania.
o Environmental events can induce depression in people who are vulnerable to stress.
o People with traumatic past tend to fall in to depression.
o People who depend on the approval of others are more likely to develop depression.
o Poor nurturing and upbringing is another factor which leads to depression.
As in any other psychological disorder, bipolar disorder is a muddle of other mental and physical limitations and problems. As disorder progresses, complications increase and become acute. People suffering with bipolar disorder especially type II experience anxiety attacks and attention deficiency problems. Certain problems for patients and their families include:
• Suicide: People suffering with bipolar disorder, particularly type II, stay at high suicide risk. During the episodes of acute depression, suicidal tendencies are foremost in mind. Unattended Rapid cycling and simultaneous depression and mania cause patients to lose control and commit suicide to end their despair and elation.
• Cognitive Issues (thinking, learning, and memory issues): People with bipolar disorder principally type II suffer from serious cognitive issues. Sometimes medication programs trigger off these problems. In the course of illness, these issues generally are; inability to think and reason, mental inflexibility, and short and long term spell of amnesia (memory loss). Children suffering with bipolar disorder face leading inabilities and attention deficiencies.
• Behavioral Issues: A significant number of people exhibit an intense sense of productivity and creativity in manic phase. However, a large percentage suffers impaired thinking and judgment, and distorted and incoherent speech in their manic phase, which leads to inappropriate and dangerous behavior.
• Substance Abuse: Bipolar patients often find solace in oblivious of alcohol, cocaine, nicotine, and marijuana. Substance abuse is high among adolescents with bipolar disorder, as they become afraid and uncertain as their illness progresses. People unknowingly suffering from bipolar disorder; tend to self-medicate them selves before seeking professional help. They take sedatives and other relaxants in order to regain control. People suffering with bipolar disorder tend to react negatively to normal and regular medicines.
For some people, bipolar disorder 1 causes severe depressive episodes whereas for others depressive episodes are mild and infrequent, as for people suffering with bipolar disorder ll, depressive episodes are always acute and frequent where as manic episodes are mild and infrequent. In the case of bipolar disorder ll, these manic episodes are known as Hypomania.