Bipolar Disorder seems to be becoming a worldwide epidemic. More than 2.3 million people in the United States are living with bipolar disorder and 723,248 suffer from the disorder in the United Kingdom. In both India and China, 12-15 million people are suffering from bipolar disorder. Canada has 390,094 victims. Bipolar is a serious disease that is affecting people all over the globe. It is a problem that must be addressed and those who have it should everything about the disorder.
What is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression causes swift and often violent changes in people’s moods. It is a serious mental illness that can lead to dangerous behaviors, suicidal thoughts or action and the destruction of work and family relationships if left untreated. People with serious untreated bipolar disorder can go from being excited to mad within a matter of minutes and without anything to upset them. They can also go from happy to sad, sad to angry or any other combination of totally opposite emotions. Bipolar disorder messes with the part of your brain that controls emotions and emotional stability. Children diagnosed with bipolar may also have another underlying mental illness and diagnosis for people over the age of 40 may mean that they are showing early signs of Dementia. So not only can bipolar disorder be its own illness but it can also be a symptom of other mental illnesses. Overall, bipolar disorder causes chaos in the lives of those who are diagnosed.
Who Gets Bipolar Disorder?
Anyone can be diagnosed with bipolar disorder at any time in their lives. The most common age to be diagnosed is early adolescents. This means most people are diagnosed from around age 13 to about age 15. Bipolar disorder is also an inherited disease. Children who have a bipolar parent have a 75% chance of being bipolar. Those diagnosed younger than 12 may have the disorder as a symptom of another mental illness and those diagnosed over the age of 40 might have the disorder as the symptoms of Dementia or other metal illness that older people are diagnosed with frequently. The disorder has even been linked as a symptom of certain cardiovascular diseases.
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
Those who have bipolar disorder can have a variety of symptoms. Some of these symptoms include:
- Intense Emotional States (over excited or joyful states are often called maniac episodes)
- Very Depressed Attitude Lasting for Several Days
- Multi-personality Problems
- Suicidal thoughts or Actions
- Dangerous Behavior
- Lavish and Impulsive Sprees
- The Feeling of Needing to Be in Power
Each of these symptoms can be dangerous and risky to the people who have bipolar disorder and those around them. Those who are medicated have a better chance of thinking more rationally when experiencing these symptoms, more than those who remain unmediated.
Those who are diagnosed with bipolar disorder are often described as energetic, powerful, dominating, talkative, and reckless during a manic episode. During an episode like this, a person may be overly joyful, energetic, or overly excited. Some people are often described as angry, irritated, confused, depressed, annoying, and non-productive during a depressive episode. The change between these episodes can be very frequent and very sudden.
Oftentimes those who choose not to be on medication have these episodes more frequently than those who are on medication for the disorder. Between these episodes people often display extreme loss of pleasure, sleep and energy. The effects of bipolar disorder are never truly gone, even between manic and depressive episodes.
Suicide and Bipolar Disorder
People who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder often enter moods of deep depression. During these moods of depression different people can have different behaviors. Some will sit and cry for hours, while others will engage in risky or dangerous activities. However, most people even children diagnosed as bipolar try to or think about committing suicide during their deep moods of depression. Studies show that 75% of those diagnosed with bipolar disorder have though about taking their own life and 60% have attempted to. When people are contemplating suicide they will often be obsessed with death or people who have died, talk about what would happen if they were to die, losing interest in things they care about, constant self-harm and saying they can hear voices. If someone is to have these signs 911 should be called immediately, especially if they have bipolar disorder.
Even though bipolar disorder is a terrifying illness there is a treatment that is helping those with their disorder. This treatment is called Lithium. It is a pill that is made of a natural salt. It helps balance chemicals in your brain. However, this medication has severe side-effects and should only be taken by those with severer bipolar disorder.
Those who are diagnosed with bipolar disorder can lead lives that are full of terrible mood swings and heart-breaking depression. However, it is important to know the facts about bipolar disorder so that you can help yourself or anyone else overcome their bipolar disorder, get on a medication, and live a relatively happy life.