Bipolar disorder is one of the most well-known psychological disorders. However, the lack or little information that some people have had access to makes them not really know what bipolar disorder is or get the wrong idea about its characteristics.
For example, there is the myth that the bipolar it’s about showing multiple personalities over time, constantly changing tastes and hobbies, or generally behaving chaotic. Of course, the concept of bipolar disorder has nothing to do with such an ambiguous conception of this mental disorder.
This is why, in today’s article, we proposed to draw up a list of 10 characteristic points of this pathology that, in general, people do not know or confuse.
What is bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder, as already mentioned, is one of the most well-known mental disorders (albeit in name), and it is a pathology that affects the way an individual feels, thinks and acts. Its characteristic feature is exaggerated mood changes, since, as a rule, a person goes through a manic phase and a depressive phase. These changes occur cyclically, going through stages of mania I depression to the point of leaving the person partially incapable of certain things and / or with a seriously compromised quality of life.
And is that bipolar disorder is a serious disorder, which has nothing to do with just emotional ups and downs, as it usually feels. The cycles of this condition can last for days, weeks or months and seriously damage the health, work and personal relationships of the person who suffers from it.
Bipolar disorder is a serious psychopathology
Due to its severity, this pathology can rarely be treated without medication, since it is necessary to stabilize the patient’s mood. Treatment is generally characterized by the administration of litigation, Although other drugs can be used for treatment such as valproate, the carbamazepine where the olanzapine.
In the mania phase, the person is able to go into debt, quit their job, feel very energetic, and only get two hours of sleep a day. The same person, during the depressive phase, may feel so bad that they cannot even get out of bed. There are several types of bipolar disorder, and its milder form is called cyclothymia.
- You can learn more about cyclothymia by visiting our article: “Cyclothymia: The Mild Version of Bipolar Disorder”
10 features you didn’t know about bipolar disorder
Having said that, there are some beliefs about this disorder that are not true and that in order for you to better understand this condition, you can find them in the following list.
1. Bipolar disorder is not emotional instability
You may have already, when faced with an argument with your partner, said that “you are a little bit bipolar” because you suddenly changed your mood. Well, be aware that this behavior is quite common, especially in relationships. In these situations, emotions are at their peak, and since no one is perfect, you may react impulsively.
It can also happen that you are in a period in your life when everything changes very quickly and you don’t really know what you want. therefore it is important not to confuse emotional instability with bipolar disorderBecause the latter is a really serious disorder that needs to be treated as quickly as possible.
2. The disorder may be genetic … or not
When a family member suffers from bipolar disorder, there is more likely that another family member is also suffering. However, several studies conducted with identical twins have shown that while one of them suffers from bipolar disorder, the other does not necessarily suffer from the other as well. Both men and women can suffer from this psychopathology, which is usually diagnosed around the age of 20.
As is almost always the case with mental health disorders, not all causes are environmental, not all causes are genetic, and although we focus on the genetic component of bipolarity, we will not be able to. find just one. Gene responsible for this phenomenon. There are several genes that, when combined, increase or decrease the risk of bipolar disorder. Perhaps in the future, knowing these genetic elements will allow us to offer more effective treatments.
3. Different substances can cause this disorder to develop
The previous point shows the importance of genetic factors as one of the causes of bipolar disorder. But environmental factors, such as the use of psychoactive and pharmacological substances can cause the development of this disorder. Some of the drug and drug uses that can cause bipolar disorder include:
Drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy, amphetamines, or marijuana
Medicines for the treatment of thyroid and corticosteroids
4. People with bipolar disorder are more likely to suffer from other illnesses
Thyroid problems, headaches, migraines, diabetes, heart problems and obesity are some of the negative consequences associated with bipolar disorder. Diseases which, in addition to the symptoms of mania and depression characteristic of this disorder, can increase the suffering of the patient.
However, it is not known whether these health problems are the result of the same genetic variations that promote the onset of bipolarity, or if they are a consequence of the average lifestyle of people with bipolar disorder. It is very possible that this is due to a combination of the two factors.
5. There are different variations of bipolar disorder
There are different types of bipolar disorder. They are as follows:
- Cyclothymia: The less severe version of this disorder. Its symptoms persist for at least two years and are characterized by mild stages of depression and hypomania.
- Type I bipolar disorder: It is characterized by the presence of manic or mixed episodes. It is not essential that the subject suffer from depressive episodes, although approximately 90% of cases the patient goes through both phases.
- Bipolar disorder type II: This type of bipolar disorder is defined by the existence of depressive episodes and hypomania (less severe).
- Bipolar disorder not specified: It is characterized by disorders with bipolar characteristics that do not meet the criteria for any type I or II bipolar disorder, such as: recurrent hypomanic episodes without intercurrent depressive symptoms or a manic or mixed episode superimposed on delusional disorder, schizophrenia residual or unspecified psychotic disorder.
There is also a subtype of rapid cycling bipolar disorder (or cycle), in which people experience at least four episodes of major depression, hypomania, mania, or mixed states over a period of one year.
6. States of mania and depression can occur simultaneously
States of mania and depression can occur simultaneously, which is called a “mixed episode”.They therefore do not need to appear separately to make the diagnosis. For example, a person may have episodes of tears and sadness during a manic phase.
7. A person with bipolar disorder can be happy
Bipolar disorder is a serious illness and the person who has it may see their quality of life diminished as a result. But even so, thanks to the right treatment, it is possible to live a full and happy life. The administration of mood stabilizers and control of the individual’s lifestyle can significantly contribute to his general well-being.
8. Bipolar disorder is not dissociative identity disorder (or multiple personality disorder)
These two disorders can be confused by the element of “different personalities”. But what characterizes the ‘ dissociative personality disorder is that there are two or more different identities or personalities in the person suffering from this condition.
You can read more about this disorder in our article: “Dissociative Personality Disorder (PIDD)”
9. Bipolar disorder can seriously get worse if left untreated.
Sometimes it may be the individual himself who seeks help, but it may be difficult for him to carry out pharmacological treatment during the manic phase, As he generally feels full of energy. The patient is usually hospitalized when he is in the acute phase to be monitored. If the person with bipolar disorder is not treated, their symptoms will get worse.
10. Celebrities Who Have Suffered From Bipolar Disorder
Famous people are not exempt from this disorder. In fact, several celebrities have made their bipolarity public. For example, Catherine zeta jones, Demi Lovato, Jim carrey O Macy gray.
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- Altshuler, L., L. Kiriakos et al. (2001). The impact of stopping antidepressants versus continuing antidepressants on the risk of relapse at 1 year of bipolar depression: a retrospective review of the graph. J Clin Psychiatry 62 (8): 612-6.
- Mondimore, FM (1999). Bipolar Disorder: A Guide for Patients and Families. Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press.
- Torrey, EF and Knable, MB (2002). Surviving Manic Depression: A Handbook on Bipolar Disorder for Patients, Families, and Providers *. * New York, Basic Books.