Bipolar Disorder is one of the most common types of mental illness plaguing people. Worldwide, 2.5% of people are reportedly suffering from bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder, formally known as manic-depressive illness, involves alternating periods of intense mania i.e. high energy activity and severe depression with low energy and mood.
People with bipolar disorder have alternating episodes of mania and depression. Mania is a period of extreme high energy or mood. People often feel very excited during a manic episode and make impulsive decisions. Depression is pretty much the opposite- low energy, with feelings of sadness or despair. Stress can trigger one of these episodes, but often the shift happens without any clear explanation.
In a bipolar episode, the neurons in the temporal lobe, responsible for your emotional stability and balancing your mood do not form necessary connections and in the absence of this, you go through states of extreme emotional stress.
Manic and depressive episodes typically last several weeks. If your moods are changing drastically from day to day, that’s usually not a sign of bipolar disorder.
A lot of the time when people say someone is “bipolar,” they really mean “moody.” Moody people can be happy one minute and sad the next. Sometimes they just change their mind a lot. It’s normal to experience ups and downs, especially if something has happened to make you feel happy or sad. Some people are moodier than others, or just more open about their feelings and that’s okay. But if your mood swings start to get in the way of your daily life, you might wonder if you actually have bipolar disorder.
But that doesn’t mean that living life with bipolar disorder can be difficult or panic-inducing. Although there is no cure for the disease, people continue to live life normally and some are even lucky to not witness an episode for days or weeks. With the help of prescribed mood stabilizers and anti-depressants, people can continue to work and be productive without any problem. However, staying on course with medication is extremely important. The symptoms can get even more terrifying if you do not pay heed to the medications and in worse cases, lose touch with reality too. It can also be managed well with lifestyle modifications, such as engaging in exercise, healthy eating, meditation and indulging in therapy.