Understanding Bi-polar Depression Disorder

One of the platforms I have adopted is Bipolar Disorder. I hold a keen interest in this condition and in supporting people who suffer from it because I have it myself and I have had to learn to deal with it. I am not ashamed of it and I remain active in activities to de-stigmatize it.

Bipolar Disorder is the current term for a long recognized condition called manic depressive illness. In most affected people it causes extreme mood swings consisting of emotional peaks known as mania or emotional lows where severe depression causes sadness and a sense of hopelessness that causes people to retreat into themselves and lose all interest in life and activities they might normally enjoy. Severe mood shifts in either direction can occur at any time without warning and can be very disruptive to a person’s lifestyle and their work. Those affected are often judged harshly for a condition they have no control over. Medication and psychotherapy are the primary treatments, but many who suffer from it spend long periods in a lonely space without help.

The manic side, generally known as Bipolar mania is defined by at least one major manic episode that may include an inflated sense of self-esteem, minimal sleep, racing thoughts, talkativeness, overactive goal activity and activities with dangerous potential such as spending sprees or sexual indiscretions.

The depressive side, known as bipolar depression tends to dominate with greater severity in most people and with more frequent episodes that last longer. Recovery takes longer and recurrences are more frequent. Sometimes the mood swings are severe with potential for severe consequences with family and/or within the work and social environment.

Treatment is generally helpful, but must remain ongoing. Educating family members and co-workers cane be very helpful in preventing disruptions when episodes occur. Affected persons are effectively not themselves and require considerable latitude from those around them. Education and treatment go hand in hand and more awareness goes a long way toward making all involved more comfortable.


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