Bipolar affective disorder is a condition in which there is an exchange of extremely good and bad moods. This is a serious condition as it prevents the one affected to have a normal life. The person is filled with grandiose and surreal ideas in one moment while on the other end depression and a deep loss of purpose in life is present. Some people tend to mix this up with regular mood swings, which are often referred to “a bit bipolar”. Doctors say that this is as senseless as being “a bit pregnant” or “a bit dead”. Other people tend to use bipolarity as an excuse for some socially awkward behaviors. Lately, facile diagnosis has become quite popular and people tend to label themselves with the bipolar syndrome, almost as if it was normal, or even popular. Many celebrities have used the bipolarity ticket in order to get around some of the socially awkward situations they’ve gotten themselves into.
Only 1% of population really does have bipolar disorder. It’s believed that it can be a consequence of imbalance of chemicals in the brain. A specific role is played by the environment as well, with stress being the final trigger. In more than two thirds of cases it’s established that the patient has at least one family member with the same problem.
Patients with bipolar syndrome always have one manic and one depressive episode. The initial episode of mania is enough to diagnose bipolarity without the depressive one. Manic symptoms can also be characterized as affective and are closely related to emotions and mood or cognitive, when understanding, criticism and memory is affected. With the depressive episode some of the most common bipolar symptoms in men are depression, anxiety, irritation, hostility, violence and even suicide thoughts.
Physical symptoms include accelerated speech, increased level of energy, and reduced need for sleeping, increased libido, extreme activity, hostile behavior, and destruction of property and so on.
Bipolar depression is conjoined with affective, cognitive and physical symptoms. Affective symptoms include sadness, apathy and anxiety. Cognitive symptoms include troubles concentrating, self-blaming, reduced level of self-confidence. Physical symptoms include sleeping disorders, reduced appetite, lowered activity and energy and swings in body weight.
The initial symptom present with over 60% of patients suffering from this syndrome is depression. Because of this it is necessary to determine whether patients with depressive symptoms have had some of these before and at which level. It would always be best to check whether there is a family history of bipolarity in the family because it’s one of the most significant risk factors for suffering from this syndrome. Diagnostic criteria can determine how many episodes one is to get during a year, each one of those causing severe consequences to the overall physical and psychic health status. This kind of bipolar syndrome is also characterized by slow and weak response to medications, especially lithium. Also, make sure to consult a professional about yourself or other persons you care about to check whether this is in fact bipolarity or something else, because a lot of people establish their own diagnosis which is usually wrong.