Bipolarity: myths and truths about this disorder

Being bipolar means, in a colloquial sense, having a changeable mood, going from sadness to joy, and joy to anger., About trifles, in minutes, impulsively and unpredictably, all day long.

Being bipolar involves, also in its most popular sense, moving from love to hate in social relationships. In short, it is synonymous with great emotional instability and sudden changes in behavior in the person that confuses everyone.

Well, nothing can be further from the truth. I clarified earlier that the description was in a “colloquial sense” meaning what ordinary people, in general, “believe” to be bipolar. however, bipolarity should be understood as a concept related to what is called bipolar disorder.

The purpose of this article is to describe some typical behavioral manifestations of bipolar disorder which can aid in the rapid and effective recognition of the disorder by relatives or friends of the affected person, thus facilitating appropriate consultation with a mental health specialist.

You may be interested in: “Bipolar Disorder: 10 Little-Known Features and Curiosities”

What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a rare disorder, and quite disabling in many ways, which makes the state of mind of those who suffer from it ungovernable, but which has nothing to do with what has been discussed so far.

It is actually a mixed disorder, combining episodes of deep depression, which can last for months, with episodes of mania, which usually last for days or weeks.

The craze for bipolarity

We all basically know what depression is: a mood disorder in which sadness, frustration, or the inability to experience feelings of joy is crippling for the person experiencing it. Now what is mania? Well, nothing more and nothing less than a state of heightened joy.

During the cycle of depression, the bipolar person feels immersed in the deepest and darkest abyss. In severe cases, it even loses interest in basic survival problems, such as feeding; and even less want to swim, go to work or go out with friends. He finds himself in a state of helplessness and despair in which nothing makes sense.

But when the person with bipolar disorder recovers from sadness, they invariably go to the other extreme, to pathological joy commonly known as mania. Hence the term “bipolar”.

A person in a manic state feels euphoric, full of energy, which leads him to commit all kinds of recklessness and excess. In episodes of mania, the course of thought speeds up, as does verbal fluency, which often becomes unstoppable verborrhagia, in which the absence of a guideline is very common in speech, the association of distant ideas. on arbitrary connections or personal meaning, childish jokes and inappropriate jokes, which the individual does not recognize as such, seeing them as extremely funny.

The consequences of the manic stage of bipolar disorder

When mania sets in, the entire behavior becomes disorganized. The excess of vitality means that the person does not feel the need to sleep and throws himself into an unbridled sociability that leads him to easily make friends everywhere, already to compete in a marathon way at all kinds of parties and events. he meets.

Blind and unprotected sex is also common because there is a feeling of courage and invulnerability. There are even cases of people who feel heterosexual in a normal state, engage in same-sex relationships, encouraged by sheer curiosity and the urge to explore new experiences that circulate adrenaline through their bloodstream.

All kinds of risky behaviors appear in this disease, at the same time as the capacity for self-criticism or self-control is blocked. It is common to abuse substances such as alcohol or drugs, to drive recklessly at high speed, and to challenge or despise any form of authority in strictness with a marked sense of omnipotence.

It is for this reason that from joy to suspicion, paranoia and open hostility towards others is only a short step in cases where bipolar disorder goes through the phase of mania. It is common for the person to misinterpret these ambiguous comments that others may make knowing that they are personal offenses and, therefore, to trigger fights or physical fights which often involve parents, unsuspecting friends or family members.

Lesser known aspects of this disorder

In a single casino night, a person whose bipolarity has given way to a state of mania can bet on roulette the entire salary of a month, because his ability to judge is deeply impaired, momentarily diverted by optimism. exaggerated.: She may come to believe that she alone will break the bank.

It is also common in cases of bipolar disorder to saturate the bank card in such a short time, for compulsive and uncontrolled purchases. When this happens and the sick person’s family decides to seek professional help, often there is no other alternative than to prescribe internment, So that the patient can receive and adhere to rigorous pharmacological and psychological treatment in these cases, based on mood stabilizers and therapy.

This is essentially a disease that has its origin in chemical imbalances and dysfunctions of certain areas of the brain, which I do not intend to explain here so as not to kill the reader out of boredom. For now, I am content with this small contribution in favor of clarifying or shedding light on one of the most distorted and least understood mental illnesses in society.

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