Bipolar disorder: Causes, symptoms and treatment

Bipolar disorder: Causes, symptoms and treatment

Dr C Veerender, Counselling Psychologist, talks about what is bipolar disorder and how it can be treated

Ramesh, an engineering student brought by his father to me, Ramesh becomes ecstatic for a moment, speaks continuously on random topics, or sometimes boasts highly ambitious plans like owning a company and making millions of rupees. Ramesh tells his father, “You are a waste candidate working in a company for peanuts. You can’t make money. I don’t want to be like you. Just leave me for one year and see what I can do.”

He explains methods of making money and how he was identified by prominent influencers on Instagram. He plans to go to Bombay to meet them and join a big group, which has continued for three months.

However, after a few days, he becomes extremely quiet, does not interact with anyone, and doesn’t complete his work on time. Once, he made a mess in the college canteen and became agitated with a server for a 5-minute delay. Over time, his behaviour became unpredictable, affecting his work and relationships with family and friends. Eventually, the principal asked him to take a leave for some time. Ramesh requested that I suggest his father leave him to do the business and make his family rich. His father is very much concerned and feeling very low and bad.

After conducting a serious clinical interview with the client and parents, our team performed a few assessments and concluded that he is suffering from Bipolar disorder. This news shocked and disturbed every member of the family.

What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder (manic depression) is a serious mental illness that causes unusual and severe mood changes between high and low. The person may experience ‘highs’ (mania) and ‘lows’ (depression), which may persist for a few days or weeks. The person may experience distinct episodes of mania and depression, which may switch rapidly, even multiple times in one week.

Bipolar disorder symptoms:

Manic phase:

During mania, the person behaves impulsively, makes decisions without proper judgment, and takes unusual risks. Also, the person ignores or is unaware of any adverse consequences of their unpredictable actions.

· Sudden rage or extreme irritability

· May have highly ambitious delusions or strong beliefs that do not have logical reasoning. The person may claim to have a special connection with God, celebrities, or historical characters.

· Inability to control impulsive actions and risky behaviour like splurging on unwanted things, foolish business investments, reckless driving, or extreme sexual behaviour.

· Inability to sleep, which may cause restlessness and hyperactivity

· Difficulty in concentration, being unable to do everyday activities

· Rapid speech, jumping from one idea to another, lack of coherence in thought.

Depressed phase:

· Intense sadness or despair, Feeling of hopelessness

· Lack of interest in activities they once enjoyed, no sleep

· Loss of energy, eating less.

· Thoughts of self-harm, death or suicide

Reasons for this BPD:

Possible risk factors include hormonal imbalance, genetics, extreme trauma due to tragic incidents, drugs or substance abuse. Bipolar disorder can co-exist with other illnesses, such as acute depression with psychosis or schizophrenia.

Methods to overcome:

Treatment can make an enormous difference by reducing the frequency and severity of episodes. A combination of medication, therapy and counselling (cognitive behaviour therapy) can effectively treat bipolar disorder. Treatment may vary depending on the age, medical history, severity of the condition, or the person’s tolerance to medication. One has to continue the medication for more time based on the severity of the issue.

(Email your concerns: [email protected] and [email protected], Phone Number: 9390771469,

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