Home MENTAL HEALTH Understanding bipolar disorder

Understanding bipolar disorder

bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is a serious yet extremely common mental condition. Here in, a person experiences a series of mood swings or rapid mood changes. This kind of condition is usually affiliated to a long – term disease which means that, this disease can go on for years together or may even be lifelong. With certain medications however, bipolar disorder can be managed; although this condition does not have any cure or permanent fix.

Table of Contents

What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder was in the past termed as maniac depression. The main reason behind this was since it was believed that clinical depression was the cause for such extreme episodes of mood swings in a combination with mania. This bipolar condition includes emotional highs or a state of being extremely happy which was termed as mania or hypomania. As well as extreme emotional lows called depression or clinical depression.

During a bipolar episode, a person becomes numb to the surrounding situation and is on an emotional high or an emotional low of his/ her own. This also means that a situation that may normally to all seem bad or that may put everyone else in an unhappy or sorrowful state of mind, may not affect the person in distress but in fact, play out differently in his/ her mind.

As mentioned earlier, bipolar disorder is not rare. A large number of people experience this mental condition more that 60 % of which remain undiagnosed. The symptoms and effects caused by bipolar disorder become more prominent between the prime ages of 25 and 35 years. The main reason behind this being that social communication is more and hence social anxiety and distress along with it also increases hence, the effect of this mental condition may be more recognizable.

Causes of bipolar disorders

genetic background

The mental condition of bipolar disease may be a prey of a number of causes. The most prominent and commonly known cause of all is genetic that is having a first degree relative (parents, siblings, grand – parents, etc.) suffering from the same.

Trauma in the past

Another very common cause related to the initiation of bipolar disorder is a severely traumatic incident. These mostly include events like loss of a loved one, loss of a job leading to serious problems, a change in environment as a result of natural disasters, etc. some people do not take/ perceive such trauma very well and may be affected adversely. Is the person does not express his / her feelings about the same with anyone, and keeps to himself while not obtaining the help he / she needs, it may lead to post traumatic stress disorder which in the long run may lead to bipolar disorder.

chronic stress and frequent anxiety

Stress and anxiety are a common cause of a number of mental illnesses and mania like conditions. Acute stress and healthy competitions are extremely beneficial to a being and help a person grow more and increase efficiency. Consequently, unhealthy stresses that just drive a person to finish the goal without any meaning and where the person seems uninterested, may in fact threaten the persons mental health in more than one way. High stresses cause anxiety and may harm the person, in the long run, frequent exposures to high stress levels may be a causative of bipolar’ s disorder.

Substance abuse

substance abuse is another important factor that may cause bipolar disorder. Unrestricted use of any kind of drug may also play a role in causing this metal condition. Drugs are usually used when a person feels extremely low and worthless; the use of drug makes the person feel better temporarily. This constant and sudden shift in mood may trigger bipolar’ s disorder.

Symptoms of bipolar disorder

Bipolar’ s condition may be differentiated into 3 mod types.


Here in, the person suffering from bipolar disorder may be extremely excited, happy and on a high. He / she may challenge themselves to do things that are new and exciting and unnecessary. Taking higher risks, socializing more than usual, are some of the changes that may be observed. In addition, the person in question may require lesser sleep, eat less, work more but yet be extremely energetic. A state of mania also often encourages a person to try on some drugs that may worsen the situation.


Hypomania can be thought of as a tuned down mania condition. Where in, the changes may not be prominent but they still exist. Hypomania when remain undiagnosed for longer periods of time result in mania. The person takes risks but on a lesser level, does not try things way out of his / her comfort zone, etc.

Depression/ clinical depression

Depression is the completely opposite state of mind of mania. During which, a person is constantly upset. A person may not experience joy in any kind of situation while even finding a reason to be upset in a joyous situation. Clinical depression if remains untreated, may at times even drive a person to give his / her own life.

Treatments and therapies

Bipolar’ s condition cannot be cured however, the symptoms are manageable by treatment. Treatment includes a combination of both medications as well as therapy. A number of medications maybe prescribed by neurologist or even by a psychotherapist to combat the symptoms. It is imperative that a person suffering from bipolar disorder, obtain the help he/ she requires.

A set of psychotherapies like cognitive therapy, anger management, behavioral therapy, family therapy, etc. may be used for a better and more enhanced reactions towards various situations especially since the situations and environment a person is placed in greatly affects triggers to ones behavior.

Understanding bipolar disorder



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