Bipolar disorder describes a mental condition characterised by extreme mood swings.
In this piece, The PUNCH highlights the symptoms, causes, and other things to know about bipolar disorder.
There are two key symptoms of bipolar disorder; episodes of extremely elevated mood (mania) and of low mood (depression).
According to Mayo Clinic, mania is characterised by hyperactivity, increased energy or agitation, an exaggerated sense of well-being (euphoria), unusual talkativeness, decreased need for sleep and high rates of distraction, amongst others.
Depressive moods, however, have to do with fatigue or loss of energy, feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt, indecisiveness, planning or attempting suicide, insomnia, restlessness, and a host of others.
Though the exact cause of bipolar disorder is unknown, several factors, however, may trigger the first episode of bipolar disorder.
Such risk factors include having a parent or sibling with the disorder, drug abuse, or excessive intake of alcohol.
Periods of high stress, such as the death of a loved one or other traumatic event, could also lead to the disorder.
For one to receive a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, one must have experienced at least one period of mania or depressive episodes.
Such symptoms may affect day-to-day life, leading to problems at work or home. When such episodes become frequent, it is advised to visit a mental expert.
Bipolar disorder has no cure but effective treatments are available to manage the illness. With the available treatment, one may be able to learn how to control mood episodes.
With effective management of one’s mood, the symptoms can be improved in order to ensure the overall quality of life.