Bipolar disorder Also known as bipolar mood disorder, it is a mental disorder in which complex emotions are experienced. The disorder, which has manic, hypomanic and depressive characters at different periods of time, recurs chronically and requires treatment. Bipolar disorder usually begins to appear in adolescence, and although its cause cannot be determined exactly, it occurs as a result of genetic and environmental factors.
What are the symptoms of bipolar disorder?
Bipolar disorder symptoms It shows different symptoms during mania, hypomania and depressive periods. Although these periods, which are completely opposite to each other, vary from person to person, studies have proven that there are common features. In previous years manic depressive called mental disorder Patients’ daily life and habits return to normal, except for periods of
manic periodIt is called the period of exuberance by psychiatrists and all emotions are experienced enthusiastically. This period of bipolar disorder, which can progress insidiously, lasts for at least a week in people and can continue for three or six months if left untreated. The most prominent features of the Mania period are as follows:
- Feeling overly energetic and restless
- Loss of perception and consciousness
- Setting new goals and increasing activity in this regard
- Talking constantly and quickly, excessive desire to explain
- Desire to spend excessive money and make unnecessary purchases
- Decrease in sleep hours and lack of need for sleep
- Placing oneself above other people or claiming to be a special person
- Having a lack of attention
- Engaging in dangerous and risky behavior that may cause life-threatening
- Excessive increase in sexual desire, hypersexuality
- As the severity of mania increases, delusions and hallucinations (seeing non-existent images or hearing voices)
Symptoms of bipolar disorder include: hypomanic episodeIt is a period of milder severity than mania. Symptoms of hypomania, which are considered normal in daily life, may seem normal and may not be noticed. It has been determined that symptoms lasting at least four days are observed in some people for several weeks and several months. If these symptoms persist over a long period of time and occur to a degree that affects social life, this may indicate a transition to mania. The most distinctive features of this period are explained as follows:
- The person’s mood is much better and cheerful than usual
- Some people experience increased creativity
- Delusions and hallucinations are experienced, as in the mania period.
The most prominent period of bipolar mood disorder and during which patients need to be treated is the depressive period. During this period, which people experience for at least two weeks, self-harm and suicidal tendencies are observed. Psychosis symptoms Delusions and hallucinations, which are among the most common in this period, are experienced most severely during this period. In the cycle of depressive episodes and mania, which are generally observed to occur one after the other, the frequency of experiencing depressive episodes increases as the age of the patient decreases. Bipolar disorder depressive episode symptoms It is explained as follows:
- Not enjoying anything done
- Feeling completely drained of energy and weakness
- Feeling hopeless, anxious and sad all the time
- Feelings of guilt and constant self-doubt
- Experiencing significant sleep disorders (sleeping too much – not wanting to sleep)
- Self-hatred with a feeling of worthlessness and nothingness
- Weight gain or weight loss along with sudden changes in appetite
- Difficulty focusing and lack of attention
- Weakening of memory and forgetfulness
- Moving away from social environment and family, becoming introverted
seen in bipolar disorder mixed periodIt is the simultaneous occurrence of manic and depressive episode symptoms. The patient has complex emotions and is simultaneously helpless, suicidal, and hopeless. In addition, they may have higher energy than usual and show symptoms of mania.
Types of bipolar disorder
Depending on the nature of the symptoms observed in bipolar mood disorder (manic-depressive); It is divided into three types called bipolar 1, bipolar 2 and cyclothymic disorder. Diagnosis and treatment of these three separate bipolar disorders consist of different methods.
Bipolar 1 disorder
It has been determined that the prevalence of bipolar 1 disorder in society is equal among men and women. This type of mental disorder can cause the patient to be detached from reality and cause hallucination and delusion psychosis. The disorder usually manifests itself as a severe depressive episode or a mania episode before or after a hypomanic episode.
Bipolar 2 disorder
Bipolar 2 disorder is more common in women than type 1 disorder. These patients experience depressive episodes for at least two weeks, with hypomania symptoms lasting approximately four days. And mania attacks are not seen as in other species.
Cyclothymic disorderis another type of bipolar disorder. Its distinguishing feature is that it has very mild symptoms compared to the first two mental disorders. In this disease, depressive and hypomanic attacks are observed to recur for at least two years. Although it varies from person to person, the duration of attacks varies and can last several weeks.
What causes bipolar disorder?
Bipolar disorder is divided into classes because it varies from person to person. While the cause of this condition is seen as genetic predisposition in some patients, it is stated that in some patients, environmental and social life factors and traumas experienced are effective.
Causes of bipolar disorder It is believed that genetic predisposition plays a significant role. When we look at the history of the patients as a result of scientific research, the frequency of the disease in people whose first-degree relatives such as mother, father and sibling have this disorder is seen to be between 7-8%. This probability drops to 1-2% in people whose close relatives do not have bipolar disorder. The most important reason for this mental disorder is genetic predisposition, and if one of the identical twin siblings has this disorder, it is seen in 70-90% of the other.
Environmental factors and traumas experienced
According to some research, the causes of bipolar disorder include environmental factors and previous traumas. Being under intense stress, losing a loved one, having a physical illness that negatively affects life, substance addiction, and experiencing physical violence are among these reasons. At the same time, situations that cause trauma such as bankruptcy, sexual abuse and divorce are seen as the causes of this mental disorder.
Imbalance in neuroanatomy and brain chemistry
Another cause of bipolar disorder is suggested to be an imbalance in neuroanatomy (brain functions) and brain chemistry. It is seen that various chemicals in the structure of the brain have an effect on a person’s mood. Any imbalance in the ratio of these substances is shown to be one of the underlying causes of bipolar disorder.
How is bipolar disorder diagnosed?
Bipolar disorder diagnosisExcept for special cases, it can only be imposed as a result of the views and opinions of a psychiatrist. The exception to this situation applies to bipolar mood disorders that develop due to substance abuse. Observations of the person’s close circle are very important for the initial diagnosis of the disease and are very useful to prevent the progression of this condition.
In order for a person to be diagnosed with bipolar, he or she must have experienced at least one episode of hypomania or mania before. During the diagnosis of the disease, a diagnosis is made as a result of a one-on-one interview with a psychiatrist and a treatment method is followed according to the type of disorder. However, in case of suspicion of bipolar disorder due to substance abuse, blood and urine analysis of the person may be necessary.
When diagnosing this disorder, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), in which the criteria determined by the American Psychiatric Association have been published, is accepted as a guide.
What are the treatment methods for bipolar disorder?
Bipolar disorder treatment methodsIt depends on the course of the disease and whether the person is experiencing manic, depressive or hypomanic stages. Determining the methods of medication, psychotherapy or hospitalization during treatment is closely related to the type of bipolar disorder the patient is experiencing.
In general, treatment; It is carried out using pharmacological treatment, psychotherapy and, if necessary, both methods together. In both types of treatment, psychoeducation for the patient, which is very important in the healing phase of the disease and attacks, is included as an auxiliary element.
During psychoeducation, the aim is to inform the patient about the causes and consequences of his attacks and how to behave during the attack.
Treatment with psychotherapy
Bipolar disorder treatment with psychotherapyIt is applied to relieve the patient’s manic and depressive episodes. In addition to drug treatment, this method, which is of great importance in the healing process, is carried out in various ways. At this stage, cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal relations psychotherapy are applied to patients.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy
- family focused therapy
Pharmacological bipolar disorder treatmentIt is aimed at reducing the severity of attacks that prevent the person from harming himself and his environment. Lithium is used as the active ingredient in the drug treatment of bipolar mood disorder. In addition, antipsychotic drugs and various mood-stabilizing drug treatments can also be preferred to stabilize the disease.