BIPOLAR DISORDER: STUCK BETWEEN THE POLES
Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that can be identified by extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression). These opposite moods can be challenging to deal with as they cause disruption and dysfunction in normal life. Individuals struggling with bipolar disorder feel themselves stuck between the two poles of these contrasting states.
EFFECT ON AFFECT:
People with bipolar disorder often experience intense energy and euphoria and also report impulsivity that is usually followed by episodes of deep sadness, hopelessness, and low mood which makes individuals dealing with it, frustrated and irritated.
SYMPTOMS OF BIPOLAR DISORDER:
Bipolar disorder is characterised by two major states; Mania and hypomania in Bipolar I and Mania and Depression in Bipolar II.
The episodes of mania and depression can last for several days.
Some of the DEPRESSIVE EPISODE SYMPTOMS may include:
● Lack of energy and pleasure
● Sadness and hopelessness
● Inability to concentrate
● Feelings of emptiness and worthlessness
● Disturbance in sleep and appetite
Some of the MANIC SYMPTOMS may include:
● Elation and feeling energy
● Rapid talking
● Suicidal thoughts
● Psychomotor agitation
MANAGEMENT OF BIPOLAR DISORDER:
Bipolar disorder can be managed through a combination of medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes. Support from healthcare professionals and family can also have a very positive impact on individuals.
Here are some strategies that may help individuals cope with bipolar disorder:
1. Medicines help in mood stabilization and in preventing extreme shifts. Thus, can help you in managing the symptoms.
2. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and psychoeducation can also help in the management of symptoms and in understanding the triggers of episodes.
3. Maintaining a regular sleep schedule, reducing stress, avoiding alcohol and recreational drugs, and engaging in regular exercise can help stabilize moods.
4. Building a support system is vital. Friends, family, support groups, or online communities can provide understanding, guidance, and encouragement.
5. Learning to recognize and manage triggers that can induce mood swings is crucial. This might involve tracking mood changes and identifying stressors or situations that precede them.
6. Understanding the condition is empowering. Self-awareness can aid in identifying warning signs and seeking help promptly.
7. Even during periods of stability, it’s essential to maintain treatment and therapy to prevent relapses.
Remember, while living with bipolar disorder can be challenging, many individuals successfully manage the condition and lead fulfilling lives. It’s crucial to work closely with healthcare professionals and loved ones to find the right balance and support needed to navigate the challenges posed by bipolar disorder. If you or someone you know is struggling, seeking professional help is highly encouraged.
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