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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Mental and Behavioural Disorders Bipolar Disorders

Bipolar Disorders

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Bipolar Disorders are also known as Manic Depressive illness in which patient has alternating bouts of mania and depression. Persons who are suffering from this disease may have spells of depression in which they feel very sad which may last for weeks or months and sometimes patients are in elated euphoric mood. So it can be concluded that there are two extremes of this disease one is depressive and another one is euphoric mood.

 

Bipolar Disorders are also known as Manic Depressive illness in which patient has alternating bouts of mania and depression. Persons who are suffering from this disease may have spells of depression in which they feel very sad which may last for weeks or months and sometimes patients are in elated euphoric mood. So it can be concluded that there are two extremes of this disease one is depressive and another one is euphoric mood.

Symptoms and Signs

  • Irritability
  • Inflated self-esteem
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Extreme elation
  • Decreased libido
  • Social withdrawal
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Lack of concentration, interest and curiosity of the surrounding environment
  • Spending sprees
  • Increased physical activity
  • Racing thoughts
  • Sad feeling
  • Restlessness
  • Hopelessness

Types of Bipolar disorders

There are three types of bipolar disorders

  • Bipolar disorder I – patient experiences at least one manic episode with or without one previous episode of depression
  • Bipolar disorder II – patient must have one episode of depression and at least one episode of hypomania. A hypomania is characterized by the symptoms of mania but much brief and low in intensity as compared to the episodes of mania. In this type of disorder the periods of depression are much longer than that of hypomania
  • Cyclothymia – it is a mild form in which the episodes of mania and depression are not that severe as those of a typical bipolar disorder
  • In addition to the above mentioned major bipolar disorders some less common one also exist like Rapid cycling bipolar disorder and mixed state bipolar disorder

Treatment and drugs

Medication options include

  • Mood stabilizers – These medications helps to stabilize the mood, so that mood swings are minimized. Lithium is most commonly used mood stabilizer which is used to treat manic episodes and it may continue for lifetime.
  • Anticonvulsants – These medications are used in certain types of bipolar disorders. These medications include sodium valproate, lamotrigene and many more.
  • Antidepressants – These are the drugs which are rarely used to treat the bipolar disorders
  • Various types of psychotherapy like cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy and group therapy are administered frequently to the patients of bipolar disorders
  • Electroconvulsive therapy or shock therapy is also sometimes used to treat the patients of bipolar disorder