Bipolar Mood Disorder: Shifting States

Bipolar mood disorder is one of the most commonly occurring psychological illnesses. The condition has several treatment approaches that will help patients cope with the effects successfully and for the long term. People also have to be informed about the causes and risks and know the proper management options. Some people live very stable and normal lives despite having bipolar mood disorder. Here is a general overview and treatment tips.

Description of Bipolar Mood Disorder

Bipolar mood disorder or BD is a personality disorder that involves two general states. The condition used to be called manic depression before. It is often used by doctors to describe the psychological illness wherein affected individuals would shift from feelings of elation or euphoria to sadness or depression.

During the state of depression, the affected individual would have feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, helplessness and despair. During the state of euphoria, individuals would experience feelings of extreme elation or euphoria. They would often be creative, hyperactive and feel confident about themselves and their abilities.

It is possible for individuals to have more states of depression compared to euphoria. The period between the two states will also vary. Some individuals can shift from one state to another in just a span of a few weeks. Sometimes, the period in between would last several months. The severity and extent of depression or elation would also vary among patients.

Development of Bipolar Mood Disorder

Doctors cannot fully point out the true cause or trigger of bipolar mood disorder. Several factors and characteristics are noticeable during the development period. Some experts speculate that the condition stems from chemical abnormalities in the brain. The different functions of the brain are affected by neurotransmitters.

If there are certain imbalances in the production and levels of these such as serotonin, norepinephrine and epinephrine, the psychological disorder can result. When the levels reach very high amounts, the person will most likely experience the manic state. When the levels reach very low amounts, the person will display depression. Genetics and environmental factors are also said to contribute to the development of the disease. Some individuals might acquire the condition after experiencing trauma and other psychologically changing circumstances.

Treating Bipolar Mood Disorder

Bipolar mood disorder patients can be treated using a variety of approaches and medications. The goal is to help the patients cope with the debilitating effects of the condition so that these do not fully disrupt their daily activities. Medications will also help balance or normalize the production of neurotransmitters so that people do not experience the depression or manic symptoms in very severe forms. Patients also need to undergo therapies that will help them manage stress. Controlling feelings and emotions despite stressful and traumatic conditions will help alleviate the symptoms and prevent the occurrence.

Treatment of bipolar mood disorder will also involve medications and drugs. Lithium is one of the most common medications used but not all people may show positive responses to the drug. Other drugs that can be used to help improve the levels of neurotransmitters include valproic acid, carbamazepine, quetiapine and lamotrigine.