Everyone has their own emotional ups and downs, but with bipolar disorder these “peaks” and “ups” are more extreme. If you want to make sure that you are not sick, then read on.
What is bipolar disorder?
This is a mental state that causes sharp mood swings, including emotional highs (mania and hypomania) and lows (depression). There are 4 types of mood episodes: mania, hypomania, depression, and mixed cases. Each of these types has a unique set of symptoms.
When you become depressed , you become sad, feel hopeless and lose interest in most activities. When your mood turns into mania or hypomania, you feel euphoric, full of strength and energy, or, conversely, overly irritable. Such mood swings affect sleep, energy, activity, behavior and the ability to think clearly.
These are actually occurring in the form of mood swings. There is no pattern to it. So, you need to be very careful in recognizing if you are the one.
How is an unhealthy condition manifested?
Bipolar disorder can be detected at any age, most often the disease is diagnosed in adolescents and young people. Symptoms vary from person to person, and each one is unique and varies in structure, severity and frequency. Some people are more prone to mania or depression, while others alternately alternate between these 2 types of episodes.
Despite the fact that this is not a rare disease, bipolar disorder is difficult to diagnose because of its “blurry” and diverse symptoms.
While experiencing mania, a person enjoys an emotional high, he feels excited, impulsive and full of energy.
During manic episodes, people often:
- Spend a lot of money
- Practice unprotected sex
- Use drugs
Hypomania is similar to mania, but not so extreme. Unlike mania, hypomania cannot lead to any problems in social relationships, but people with hypomania still notice negative changes in their mood.
With depressive attacks, patients experience:
- Deep sadness
- Loss of energy
- Lack of interest in the activities that he once enjoyed
- Periods of too little or prolonged sleep
- Suicidal thoughts
Below you can familiarize yourself with the real thoughts of patients with bipolar disorder, and find out what it feels like to live like that.
At some point, everything in the head begins to crumble. It’s like climbing Mount Everest. It seems that I can do it! And then, as soon as I reach the top, the mood drops sharply. Depression spreads deeply and quickly, and lasts for an unpredictable amount of time.D. Gene
Hypomania is awesome, you have a lot of energy, it’s like spending the best day of your life and sorting out a little caffeine. But bipolar depression is hell, it is the most painful thing the mind can face. I constantly think about suicide, because I feel that I am slowly losing my soul and ability to feel anything other than sadness, heartache, affliction, and heavy sobs. Brain chemistry literally does not allow “happy” thoughts during these episodes.A. Borkmeyer
I do not know what I will experience any minute. I spend a lot of time isolating myself from others because I am too depressed to cope with interpersonal interactions. I am always incredibly aggravated due to symptoms of hypomania. Sometimes depression makes me lie in bed all day, even if I take antidepressants. On some days, hypomania makes me run around the house with great speed, which, at least, allows me to do many housework without straining.L. Bracken
When I was diagnosed, I realized that my whole life was a hoax. Those optimistic ideas that, of course, failed, were not real, they were nothing – just part of my mania. Sometimes I do not sleep 3-4 nights in a row. And by the absence of sleep, I mean the complete absence of sleep, even without a drift. My doctor says that if I’m too excited, then trying to sleep is futile.S. Tiagi
Causes of Mental Dysfunction
Doctors do not fully understand the causes of bipolar disorder, but they are sure that the condition is the result of a number of interacting factors:
- Genetic. One study confirmed that the disease is more likely to occur in people who have relatives with such a diagnosis.
- Chemical imbalance. Abnormalities of cerebral neurotransmitters play a key role in many cases of mood disorders, including bipolarity. Deep problems with specific brain circuits and the functioning of brain chemicals (norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine) cause emotional instability, sleep problems, psychoses, and depression.
- Hormonal. Incorrect hormonal synthesis can provoke pathology.
- Social. Any abuse, mental stress, loss of a loved one or some other traumatic event can contribute to the development of this disorder.
Some people with a genetic predisposition to the disease may not have noticeable symptoms until some factor described above causes a serious mood shift.
Scientifically proven facts about the disorder
Bipolar disease is accompanied by certain symptoms, which even surprises:
- Migraine-type headaches are 3.5 times more likely to develop in people with bipolar disorder than in healthy people. Eating disorders, anxiety attacks and problems with alcohol are also more common in people with the described pathology.
- Most people with bipolar disorder have a history of childhood trauma, due to changes in self-control and attention.
- People with bipolarity have higher levels of saturated fat in their diet. The study also found a relationship between the levels of certain fat molecules in the blood of patients and their mood.
- Studying microbes living in the gastrointestinal tract of patients and healthy volunteers, experts found lower levels of the key type of bacteria and a smaller variety of microbes in patients taking antipsychotic drugs.
- Poor sleep plays a key role in bipolar disorder, and a relationship is found with the severity of depression and mania in women, but not in men.
- Men with bipolar disorder who have a strong neurotic character are more prone to a severe course of the disease.
Experts also compared stem cells taken from healthy skin samples and no participants. It turned out that neurons derived from cells of patients with bipolar disorder were more excitable, but calmed down when exposed to lithium, a common treatment for the disease. In addition, the cells differed in their functions and interactions.
Bipolar disorder covers the entire breadth of human mood, emotions and behavior, like no other condition, which is why the disease is quite difficult to detect. If you often encounter extreme and uncontrolled mood swings, consult a doctor. It is clear that life cannot be good all the time. As there is no absolute “normality”, and if so, are you sure that you want to imitate and conform to it?