Mental disorders are relatively common in the United States. It’s estimated that a decent chunk of Americans has experienced a mental illness at some point in their lives. Bipolar disorder is one such mental disorder. Here’s what you need to know about this disorder.
What is Bipolar disorder?
There are two common perspectives on explaining Bipolar disorder. The first perspective is the biological perspective.
From the biological perspective, it is thought that abnormalities in the brain’s chemistry or structure may be the cause of bipolar disorder. In addition, research suggests that people with bipolar disorder may physically change their brains. For example, the amygdala (an area of the brain involved in processing emotions) may be larger and more active in people with bipolar disorder than in people without the disorder.
It’s also thought that there may be a genetic component to bipolar disorder. That means if you have a family member with the disorder, you may be more likely to develop it yourself.
The second perspective is the psychological perspective.
From a psychological perspective, it is thought that abnormal patterns of thinking may contribute to the development of bipolar disorder. For example, people with bipolar disorder may have cognitive biases, which are distorted ways of thinking. These biases can lead them to misinterpret events in their environment in a way that contributes to their symptoms.
For example, someone with bipolar disorder may interpret a neutral event as bad if they’re in a depressive state. Or, they may interpret a minor good event as significant if they’re in a manic state.
These cognitive biases can be thought of as “filters” that distort how we see the world. And these filters can contribute to our symptoms and make it difficult for us to function in our everyday lives.
What are the symptoms of bipolar disorder?
People with type 1 bipolar disorder experience manic episodes. These are periods of abnormally high energy, mood, and activity levels. During a manic episode, people may:
- Feel like they’re on top of the world
- Have a lot of energy and do not need much sleep
- Be more talkative than usual
- Be easily distracted
- Engage in risky behaviors
Manic episodes can last for a few days to a few months. And they can be so severe that people need to be hospitalized to prevent them from harming themselves or others.
After a manic episode, people with type 1 bipolar disorder usually experience a depressive episode. These are periods of low energy, mood, and activity levels. During a depressive episode, people may:
- Feel hopeless and helpless
- Lose interest in their usual activities
- Sleep too much or have trouble sleeping
- Eat too little or overeat
- Withdraw from friends and family
- Have difficulty concentrating
- Experience feelings of worthlessness or guilt
Depressive episodes can last for a few weeks to a few months. And they can be so severe that people need to be hospitalized.
People with type 2 bipolar disorder experience both manic and depressive episodes, but the manic episodes are not as severe as the ones experienced by people with type 1 bipolar disorder. People with type 2 bipolar disorder may also experience what are called hypomanic episodes. These periods of abnormally high energy, mood, and activity levels are not as severe as manic episodes.
If you think you may have bipolar disorder, you must seek treatment from a mental health professional. There are new treatments that are emerging in treating this disorder.
Ketamine is a new treatment that is showing promise in treating bipolar disorder. Ketamine is an NMDA receptor antagonist which works by blocking the NMDA receptor. This receptor is involved in learning and memory, and it’s thought that ketamine may help correct abnormal brain activity patterns in people with bipolar disorder. Essentially, ketamine therapy may help “reset” the brain and alleviate symptoms. Therapists do this by administering a small dose of ketamine intravenously. It’s a safe and reliable treatment and one that can help deal with the depressive symptoms of Bipolar Disorder.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
TMS is another new treatment promising in treating bipolar disorder. TMS is a non-invasive brain stimulation technique that uses magnetic fields to stimulate the brain. It’s thought that TMS may help improve symptoms by correcting abnormal brain activity. In addition, TMS is a safe and well-tolerated treatment, showing promise in treating bipolar disorder.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that is effective in treating bipolar disorder. CBT works by helping people change their negative thinking patterns and behaviors. Therapists can do this through individual or group therapy sessions.
Bipolar disorder is a complex mental disorder that can be difficult to treat. However, new treatments are emerging that show promise in treating this condition. If you think you may have bipolar disorder, it’s essential to seek help from a mental health professional. You can manage your symptoms and live a healthy and happy life with treatment.