What is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that causes changes in a person’s mood, energy, and ability to function. People with thisdisorder experience intense emotional states. It typically occurs during distinct periods of days to weeks, called mood episodes.
These mood episodes are categorized as manic/hypomanic or depressive (sad mood). People with this disorder generally have periods of neutral mood as well. When treated, people with this disorder can lead full and productive lives.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of bipolar disorder with mixed features may vary. It depends on the mood episode in question. They can include:
- Feeling a mixture of elevated and low moods
- Doing pleasurable activities but still having depressive symptoms
- Experiencing low mood with rapid speech
- Experiencing elevated mood with suicidal ideation
- Experiencing severely disturbed sleep
- Having a severe disruption of appetite
Causes of bipolar disorder:
Genetic factors and bipolar disorder
This disorder is frequently inherited, with genetic factors accounting for approximately 80% of the cause of the condition.
It is the most likely psychiatric disorder to be passed down from family.
- If one parent has this disorder, there’s a 10% chance that their child will develop the illness.
- If both parents have bipolar disorder, the likelihood of their child developing bipolar disorder rises to 40%.
Stressful life events
The onset of this disorder can sometimes be linked to stressful life events.
People with this disorder can find it beneficial to learn ways of managing and reducing stress as emotional pressure can trigger relapse.
While not a direct cause, seasonal factors appear to play a role in the onset of this disorder. With the chance of onset increasing in spring.
Physical illness and bipolar disorder
Physical illness by itself is not a cause of this disorder. But in some instances can cause symptoms that could be confused with mania or hypomania.
Substances and bipolar disorder
- Drugs like cocaine, ecstasy and amphetamines
- Medicine for hormonal problems like prednisone or other corticosteroids
- Very large amounts of caffeine.
Pregnancy, perinatal period and bipolar disorder
It can begin during pregnancy or after the birth of a baby. This might be a first episode, or a continuation or relapse of the condition.
Women who have previously experienced it or who have a family history of the condition are at an increased risk of an episode at this time.
It’s important to be aware of the early warning signs, and for family and friends to be aware of these symptoms.
Can you prevent it with mixed features?
There’s no known way to prevent it. However, if you experience a mixed episode during treatment, contact Dr. Carla Kesrouani to help you overcome this disorder and maintain a healthy mental life. With behavior modification and rapid transformational therapy, you can learn to manage the bipolar disorder and find ways to lead a normal life.