Bipolar syndrome or disorder was formerly known as Manic Depression. It is a recognised mental health condition where the sufferers get the most incredible mood swings.
People with the condition can go from massive highs and lows in their emotional state.
Bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition but can be treated successfully with medication and psychological counselling.
Mood swings can happen anytime, where you can feel depressed, unhappy, or downhearted and lose interest in almost everything. Those mood shifts can go from mania or Hypomania (less extreme than mania) to euphoria, being full of beans, or being unusually irritable. These mood swings affect sleep, energy, activity, judgement, behaviour, and thinking ability.
It is more common to start at the young ages between 15 and 25, with an average of about 1 in 50 people affected. It rarely continues after the age of 50 years also. There are many contributing factors to the onset of a Bipolar diagnosis.
The Highs and Lows of anyone with Bipolar Disorder can be attributable to genetics. If you have had a parent with a severe mental illness, there is a one in three chance that you may develop a mental illness.
Other factors can include the overuse of alcohol or drugs, which can bring on a form of chemical depression.
Mania & Hypomania
Mania is the worst form, and Hypomania is less harsh. They are similar, but a severe manic episode can trigger a psychosis that takes the sufferer out of reality and requires hospitalisation.
Both forms would contain three or more symptoms such as:-
- Highs and higher spells than average.
- Increased vigour, energetic spells, or agitated behaviour.
- Euphoric periods, out of the head happiness.
- Periods of garrulousness or non-stop talking.
- Thoughts continuously buzzing or inventing of situations.
- Easily distracted.
- Poor decision-making — buying sprees, taking sexual risks, or making foolish investments.
Excessive Depressive Spells
Excessive depressive periods of inactivity or irritability that cause complete disruption to a typical day’s work or school, five or more of these constitute a manic depressive or Bipolar period.
- Depressive and down moodiness, irritability, feelings of hopelessness, tearful episodes.
- A complete loss of interest in everything around them.
- Noticeable weight loss or gain or loss of appetite.
- Insomnia or oversleeping.
- Restlessness, edgy, fatigue.
- Feelings of worthlessness, guilt complex.
- Indecision, cannot think straight, unable to evaluate life or concentrate.
- Suicidal thoughts, or worse.
It can include anxiousness, distress, melancholy, psychosis, or others. Symptoms may consist of diagnoses such as mixed or rapid cycling. In addition, bipolar symptoms could occur during pregnancy or change with the seasons.
Always consult your General Practitioner if you are suffering from a Bipolar Diagnosis.
TODAY, your GP can prescribe anti-depressants or a mood stabiliser for more severe swings. Today’s varieties of these drugs are far more efficient and successful than in previous years.
They can take two to six weeks to affect your particular condition, and you must continue to talk to your doctor as you get further into the treatment. In addition, you should never stop taking these prescribed drugs suddenly. That must be withdrawn gradually over an agreed time.
If you have ever had any manic episodes, you should not take anti-depressants for an extended period.
As a youth in the nineteen-sixties, I had a spell of chemical depression brought on by the abuse of amphetamine drugs. After some worse-than-suicidal thoughts, feelings of worthlessness, and a period of unemployment, my doctor prescribed Valium, and Mandrax, downers that young people often used to counter the highs of the speed (amphetamine.) These drugs were regularly available on the black market and became part of fashion then.
I self-medicated with alcohol, which was not a wise option. Still, drugs were too prevalent in society, and many people ended up in mental institutions from being exposed to these drugs. That still applies in today’s society when overuse of psychotropic drugs, even cannabis, and others, can bring on a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorders. I was fortunate to overcome the depression and became very successful in business. It took many years to beat that cycle of highs and lows. Still, to this day, I have used that experience to deter my kids and others from using drugs for any short-lived pleasure.
I have since then met others who have been diagnosed as Bipolar sufferers and have, for unknown reasons, stopped their medication. Two of those ended up in violent situations during a manic period, which meant the courts deprived them of their liberty. Another was the boss of a company I worked for. Despite being a very clever and able civil engineer, he brought his family company to bankruptcy due to his megalomania, buying sprees, and misuse of the company’s finances. His close relatives disowned him because he refused to listen to the medical advice and re-commence his medication.
On the other side, I also met a sufferer who took up a form of self-healing via an energy healing group that trained them in a course of different meditations, and they stayed off their medication but only whilst performing these varied daily rituals. As with any of the remedies, the condition returns when the patient ceases the particular treatment.