What is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to undertake every day jobs. Dr. Choice Onyinyechi says “in some alternative episodes of mania, the individual tend to have excited moods for no reason actually, has depression or prolong and profound feeling of self-worthlessness.”
Cause of Bipolar Disorder
The cause of bipolar disorder could be genetic. That is, associated with family history, and as such the disorder tends to run in family. For instance, children with a parent or sibling who has bipolar disorder are much more likely to develop the illness, compared with children who do not have a family history of the disorder. However, it is important to note that most people with a family history of bipolar disorder will not develop the illness. Dr. Choice Onyinyechi indicates that bipolar disorder could also be biochemical – from the use of certain drugs that can trigger psycho-dynamic experiences such as stress, pressure from work place, or emotional pain from losing a love one.
Types of Bipolar Disorder
There are two major types. That is, bipolar 1 and bipolar 2. Depending on these types, some people may have more of depression while others may have more of mania.
Bipolar disorder is a lifelong illness. Though episodes of mania and depression may recur over time, treatment can help those with the most severe forms of bipolar disorder gain a better control of their mood swings and other bipolar symptoms. Treatment may be a combination of medication such as the use of mood stabilizers, antidepressants, antipsychotics, or through a psychotherapy (also called “talk therapy”) which involves: keeping a routine for eating and sleeping, learning to recognize mood swings, asking a friend or relative to support treatment plans, or talking to a doctor. The treatment plan is put in place to balance and harmonize the disorder, Dr. Choice Onyinyechi added.
Who are likely to have Bipolar Disorders?
The average age of people likely to be affected by bipolar disorder is 21 years old. However, in some cases, individuals between the ages 15 to 19 years old can have the condition. But for older people it varies.
What are the possible effects?
The side effects of bipolar disorder can include dryness of the mouth, constipation, and sexual dysfunctions. It also can result in an inability to perform a job, damage to social and family relationships, loss of self-confidence and even loss of life through suicide.
Interview with Dr. Choice Onyinyechi Wereko-Dankwa, expert on Child Health and Gynaecology at Medifem Multi-Specialist Hospital and Fertility Centre.