Bipolar Disorder

INTRODUCTION:

The mental health of a human being is very important to the overall holistic approach of wellness, this way a persons with normal mental health has the ability to find solutions of the of the problems, cope with crises and stresses of life without assistance beyond the support of family and friends, fulfil once capacity for love and work and most importantly, maintain a state of wellbeing by enjoying life. In this way, one should have self awareness in order to know yourself very well.

Furthermore, several factors can affect or influence the way humans interact to certain situations and crises in life which later on affect their mental stability, example of which is cultural beliefs. Other factors that influence the mental health are childhood experiences, life circumstances and hereditary traits. If mental health is at risk because one is bombarded with life’s crises, then mental illness will develop which later on lead to mental disorders, like bipolar disorder.

DEFINITIONS AND SYMPTOMS:

The mental condition of bipolar are consist of bipolar 1 and 2 disorder. As defined, bipolar 1 disorder is a recurrent disorder in which a person will experience one or more manic episodes or mixed episodes. Furthermore, during manic episodes, one will manifest abnormal, expansive, persistently elevated or irritable mood that last for at least 1 week. On the other hand, bipolar 2 disorder, is a recurrent major depressive episodes with hypomanic or a mood between euphoria and excessive elation episodes. In most instances, a person with bipolar disorder manifest altered thought processes in which it can produce bizarre delusions.

In most cases also, a bipolar person usually manifest distractibility. As you observed, a bipolar patient cannot concentrate on a certain things because they were easily distracted for many thoughts in their mind. Another symptom is a bipolar person has a flight or ideas. This means, because of their altered thought processes, the mind of the bipolar patients are bombarded with different ideas that they cannot explained on how to handle it. That is why, upon conversing to a bipolar patient, you will notice that they manifest flight of ideas, take for example, you they are talking about one single topic then later on, they will jump to another topic without finishing the other one.

Moreover, other symptom is, they are talkative than usual normal persons. In which, bipolar patient are very talkative that every time they always like to talk. Also, they experience decrease need of sleep, grandiosity or exaggerated belief of one’s identity and increase psychomotor agitation. These symptoms are manifested to a distinct period that will last for a long time, probably in a one week period. That is why you need to observe carefully the symptoms in order to understand the disease process. Come to think of it, usually you wonder how this disease develops. What are the causes of it? Is this a serious condition? Well, let us discover the causes and risk factors of bipolar disorder.

CAUSES AND RISK FACTORS:

The etiology of bipolar disorder comes from different factors that contribute to the development of these disorders. This includes genetic factors, psychosocial factors and biochemical factors. When we say genetic factors, there is 4-24% increase within the family with bipolar disorder, will have the risk of developing bipolar disorder. Furthermore, defective genes specifically on chromosomes 18 and 21 are related to developing bipolar disorder. On the other hand, psychosocial factors also appear to be a precipitating factor that contributes to bipolar development.

Psychosocial factor means, these are stressors of life’s circumstances that experience by individual and if they are bombarded with this many stressors in life and they cannot cope with it immediately, then there are higher probability that it will contribute to this disorder. Another factor is biochemical factors; this factor is caused by abnormality within the electrical brain conductions that affects the development of mood of the person as well as the thought formulation. Medically speaking, an abnormality on the basal ganglia, limbic system and hypothalamus in the brain, can affect the development of mood disorders. Also, on the other hand, bipolar patients have lower levels of platelet serotonin uptake, norepinephrine and higher plasma lithium rates can contribute to the development of bipolar disorder.

TEST AND DIAGNOSTICS:

It is a big challenge among health team, especially on the physicians to diagnose the disease correctly. It need a thorough assessment procedure for the patients manifestations according the sign and symptoms experience by them, in order to rule out any medical condition and come up to a correct diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Since it has no laboratory tests that distinguish major depressive episodes that manifest by bipolar 1 and 2 disorder, the only thing to undergo the correct diagnosis, is to have a proper and through assessment data. First, a medical practitioner conducts psychophysiology examinations. It means, the physician assess the mental stability of the patient and the way they interact to certain situations.

These way the patients and physicians have a certain conversations while the physicians observes carefully the patients if they manifest the symptoms that listed in the criteria of bipolar disorder. Second, a very good tool to help the physician asses the bipolar patients is a rating scale assessment tool. The physician provides a mania rating scale, a tool used to measure and gather data about the manic episodes manifest by the patients. Also, a mini mental status examination can be a helpful tool, this way the physician can have a pertinent and reliable data that needed to the correct diagnosing of bipolar disorder.

Furthermore, assessment of overall body observation and psychological aspects should be considered. This includes assessment on the thought process, like negative thoughts, indecisiveness, and presence of suicidal thoughts, poor judgement and poor concentration. Assess the posture and affect for slumped posture, dejection, anhedonia and episodes of weeping. Also, assess for appearance of depression like eating disorders, addictive illnesses, hypochondriasis and compulsive overload. Another is, explore the patients feelings of anxiety, guilt, irritability, anger and worthlessness. If this assessment is successful, then a correct diagnosis will be done. Once the diagnosis is done, then proper management and treatment follows.

TREATMENTS:

Upon diagnosing the bipolar disorder, the physician will usually form or provide a good management and treatment that is very effective in helping and alleviating the symptoms that affects the patients. These are treatments that are realistic and reliable that brings relief to the patient. First, the physician should assist in meeting the needs of the patients. As depression and mania are elevated, tendency is, the patient will lose interest on self care and they have difficulty in decision making. It should be very important to teach the significant others or the nurse should assist the patients in grooming, bathing and personal hygiene. This way, the patient will still look good and be comfortable. Second the dietary needs for the patients are a priority.

Since the patients are depressed, they will lose their appetite and be anorexic. On the other hand, the manic episodes of bipolar patient are too hyperactive to eat. It should be very important to support the nutritional needs of the patient, have always a dietary snacks and finger foods. The foods should be high in vitamins and minerals that can be helpful in the nutritional status of the patient. Third, provide simple activities especially for clients who have difficulty to concentrate. There are activities that are effective for short attention span displayed by bipolar disorder. Fourth, pharmacologic treatments especially on the mania episodes, these medications includes lithium carbonate like Lithbid, neuroliptic agents such as Risperdal can help for acute psychotic thinking, anticonvulsant can help stabilizing the mood on the bipolar patients like Gabapentin and Valproate, benzodiazepines like Clonazepam and Lorazepam are used to treat acute agitation.

In addition to this, patient taking medications should be monitored closely on the compliance and observe carefully for serious side effects. Mostly, these antidepressant medications reached its therapeutic level for at least 3 weeks, so it very important to explained to the patient about the effectiveness of the medications they were taking so that they will be aware of each medications. Lastly, together with psychotropic agents, somatic therapies will be useful in alleviating the symptoms of bipolar disorder especially depression and manic episode. Electroconvulsant therapy is oftentimes used among clients with treatment resistant or those who have severe depression. However, there is another treatment that is used aside from somatic therapy, these is transcranial magnetic stimulation, these therapy stimulate the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex to minimize the occurrence of seizure if any, but still it is not commonly recommended. Other management that contribute to the treatment of bipolar disorders are frequent phototherapy and interactive therapies. Frequent exposure to sunlight reverses the symptoms of seasonal depression that usually happens during winter and fall. Phototherapy or exposure to artificial light stimulates morning light which is very important and effective on depressive episodes.

ALTERNATIVE THREAPIES:

On the other hand, there are also alternative therapies that are oftentimes helpful in alleviating the symptoms of these disorders. Oftentimes, a combination of natural therapies and nutritional supplements can be helpful, like for example, massage therapy, it helps relieve tension. Also, food allergies can cause mood swings, so avoid foods that trigger the mood of bipolar patients. Somehow, these alternative therapies can help in preventing the episodes of symptoms in worsening.

COMPLICATIONS AND PREVENTIONS:

The accompanying neurologic and emotional disorders of bipolar patients if not controlled can lead to complications that can put their life at risk. These includes suicide, it is because severe depression can lead to committing suicide; next is behavioural and emotional aspects of the persons are affected during manic phase, like becoming paranoid and even display a violent behaviours. Problems like thinking and memory also happens. These complications are very dangerous if not prevented.

That is why; preventions should be a higher priority in order to prevent complications to happen. Since bipolar disorder is a serious problem and no prevention is given to prevent the development of this disorder, the best way to prevent is to avoid or prevent the reoccurrence of the manic and depressive episodes. If certain symptoms can observe in the early stage, make sure that these patients should remain on medications for the rest of their like. This is the only way to prevent complications to develop. Stay medicated all the times and observe for possible serious side effects.

CONCLUSIONS:

Therefore, this disorder is very serious and fatal if priority action will not be given immediately. Be sure that significant others are supportive enough to watch and provide the needs of the patients. Never display prejudices and biases to them because they want only the best care for their condition. A good support system can be helpful therapy to prevent their condition from worsening.

At the present time, many people still want to know what is bipolar disorder and how to cope with it. For you to know, this kind of disorder is also similar with a manic depression. It is a psychological finding that is under the category of various mood disorders. Most of the time, it is very difficult to identify what is the cause of bipolar disorder and how to deal with it. There are some people who have this kind of disorder who can no longer cope with the situation that they have.

Often times, they cannot avoid harming themselves and even the people around them. This happens because they cannot control the mood swings that they are experiencing. A person who is having this kind of disorder has two personalities; one moment they can feel happy and all of a sudden, they can get mad for no reason at all. Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder, believed to affect around 1% of the world’s population. While it may be rare to suffer from full-blown bipolar disorder, there are many millions of sufferers worldwide who manage and control their symptoms enough to lead normal lives. Bipolar disorder need not ruin your relationship; it might just take a bit more patience and effort than any other relationship in your life.