What is Bipolar Disorder?
We all have ups and downs in life, but with bipolar disorder, these peaks are more severe.
It is a mental illness with extreme mood shifts. Previously it was also called manic-depressive illness or manic depression. This disorder causes an unusual shift in mood, energy, activity level, concentration and often ability to take out the day-to-day task.
There are 3-types of bipolar disorder that involves clear changes in mood, energy and activity level. People who suffer from this disorder face trouble in managing school, work or relationships. It’s divided into three types of episodes:
- Manic episode- This period includes extreme up behaviours like – elated, irritable or energised.
- Depressive episode- This period is extreme down behaviours like – sad, indifferent or hopeless.
- Hypomanic episode- This is less severe than the other two periods.
According to National Institute for Mental Health, an estimated 4.4% of U.S. adults experience bipolar disorder at some time in their lives.
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, in 2017, 197 million Indians were suffering from mental disorder (46 million-depression; 45 million anxiety disorders).
A survey of 11 countries found the lifetime prevalence of bipolar disorder was 2.4%. The U.S. had a 1% prevalence of bipolar type I, which was notably higher than many other countries in this survey.
Symptoms of Bipolar disorder in Women
Diagnosis of Bipolar disorder is equal in both men and women, but the symptom experience might differ in both genders. In women’s case, these are the symptoms that they might show:
- Diagnosed later in life, such as the 20s and 30s.
- Show milder episodes of mania.
- Experience more depressive episodes than manic.
- Have four or more episodes of mania and depression in a year, also known as rapid cycling.
- May experience both at the same time, include problems like thyroid, obesity, anxiety and migraines.
- Alcohol use disorder
Women with this disorder show relapse more and often. If you think you have signs of bipolar disorder or someone you know shows these signs, it’s better to have your facts clear.
Symptoms of Bipolar disorder in Men
The symptoms are similar, but the experience may be different in men than women. Such as:
- Earlier diagnosis in life.
- Experience severe episodes, especially, manic episodes.
- Issues of substance abuse like smoking, drinking, drugs etc.
- Act out manic episodes.
Men often don’t seek medical care on their own for mental disorders and are more likely to commit suicide.
Frequent highs and lows of mood and emotion can be signs of bipolar disorder. Although, various other factors can contribute to this situation are lifestyle, age, gender and hormones. It is advisable to take proper medical care and assistance to treat this situation.