Bipolar mood disorder, also known as manic-depressive or manic-depressive illness, is a mental disorder characterized by episodes of abnormally high and abnormally low moods. This affects the way one feels on a day-to-day basis. In this article, we will go through the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment of bipolar mood disorder.
What Is Bipolar Mood Disorder?
Bipolar mood disorder is a mental illness that involves periods of abnormally high and low moods. Bipolar can be treated, but not cured. It involves cycles of mania and depression that alternate with each other. If this disorder goes untreated for a long period of time it can result in serious damage to one's physical health, finances, or relationships.
Bipolar mood disorder is found to have a strong genetic component, like most mental illnesses. In other words, it is found to run in families.
If either or both of a person's parents have it, there is a 25% chance that the person will have it too. If one sibling has it, the other sibling has a 10% chance of having bipolar mood disorder.
The actual cause of bipolar mood disorder is not known exactly. What is known is that it happens in the brain. The most common theory is that it relates to changes in the neurotransmitters of the brain. Specifically, the levels of two of them: norepinephrine and serotonin.
There are many different ways to diagnose bipolar mood disorder. Some of them are:
A physical exam and medical history by a doctor (In other words, a regular checkup. The doctor will take a medical history to see if there are any physical problems that could be causing the symptoms. He or she can also do things like blood tests to rule out other physical problems.)
A mental health evaluation by a psychiatrist. (He or she will ask the patient's family about their symptoms, and ask how they feel, etc.)
An MRI of the brain. (This can show any abnormalities in the parts of the brain that deal with mood.)
Questionnaires or psychological tests. (These are usually self-administered or in front of a clinician.)
There are many different ways to treat bipolar mood disorder. Some of the treatments include:
Antidepressants: They work for people who have depression, and can relieve the symptoms of depression for some people.
Antipsychotics: These work best for people who have extreme cases involving hallucinations and are experiencing delusions.
Benzodiazepines: They work best for people who have anxiety. They can also help with sleepiness.
Psychotherapy: This helps to treat symptoms by helping the patient to understand what's going on and why they feel the way they do.
Bipolar mood disorder is a serious mental illness that affects about 2.3 million people in the United States. It can be managed, but not cured. A person suffering from bipolar should take the symptoms seriously and seek treatment as soon as possible. If you’re looking for quality care that goes above and beyond, check out Harry Verby, M.D. Behavioral: Medical Clinic. With a long track record of experience and results, there’s simply no better option.