Mental Health Mondays | Mood Disorders (Part Two)

People with mood disorders experience moods outside the normal range that are longer in duration with more severe symptoms. (Tweet This). There are two main forms of mood disorders – depressive and bipolar. In this post (part two), we will discuss bipolar disorder.

People with Bipolar Disorder has have extreme mood swings to two polar sides: manic depressive and mania.

Symptoms of Depression in Bipolar Disorder:

During the episodes of depression, the person can have some or all of the symptoms listed in Part One.

Symptoms of Mania in Bipolar Disorder:

Mania can be characterized as an elevated mood, grandiose ideas and irritability. Other symptoms might present themselves, and will severely impact daily functioning. The start is usually sudden and can increase rapidly over a few days.

  • Increased energy and overactivity: The person may suddenly be able to do far more than usual. They will appear restless and unable to sit still. They could also participate excessively in multiple activities.
  • Elevated and elated mood: The person will feel high, happy, full of energy, on top of the world, and invincible.
  • Needing less sleep than usual: The person can go for days with very little sleep or none at all, and will not feel the usual fatigue or tiredness.
  • Irritability: This may occur if others disagree with the person’s unrealistic plans or ideas. It is also a result of going without proper rest.
  • Rapid thinking and speech: The person may talk too much, too fast, or too loud. They may keep changing the subject as they are easily distracted. Their thoughts may be racing.
  • Lack of inhibitions: The person may have excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that are high risk, such as unrestrained buying sprees, sexual indiscretions or ill-considered business investments.
  • Grandiose delusions: The person may have inflated self-esteem, which can develop into the person believing that he or she s superhuman, especially talented or an important religious figure.
  • Lack of insight: The person is convinced that their manic beliefs are real. They do not realize that they are ill or have poor judgement.

Risk Factors of Bipolar Disorder:

  • Genetic factors: Although bipolar is not directly inherited, people who have a parent who is affected or a family history, have higher rates of this disorder compared to the general population.
  • Biochemical factors: Mania and depression are believed to be associated with a chemical imbalance in the brain.
  • Stress: Stress may play a part in triggering symptoms in vulnerable people.
  • Medications: Episodes of mania may occur after illness, use of drugs and taking certain medications used in the treatment of physical illness.

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