Bipolar disorder is the fourth most common mental illness worldwide and in 2013 there were 4 million cases of mood disorders (including bipolar) in the UK but what is bipolar? What are the symptoms? And what can be done to those help living with bipolar and what treatments are available?
What Is Bipolar?
Bipolar is a mental condition that affects moods and people with the illness can have episodes of depression and mania, which can change very quickly. This is very different from a mood swing as an episode of bipolar can last for several weeks.
The cause of bipolar is not yet known, but some things such as; extreme stress, overwhelming problems, life changing experiences and genetics, are believed to be a trigger to the illness.
Who Does Bipolar Affect?
Bipolar affects both men and women the same and it often develops in the teenage years from 15-19.
A diagnosis of clinical depression may be made before you have a manic episode. After having this you may be diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Someone experiencing a manic episode of bipolar can have feelings of happiness, have lots of energy and ambitious plans. It also common for them to not eat or sleep, become annoyed easily and talk quickly.
Bipolar does affect people differently by either bringing out a creative side of them or it can create symptoms of psychosis where they start to hear and see things that are not there. Some people may have many episodes in their lifetime, but others may only have a couple. This can often get in the way of every day life but treating bipolar can help with the symptoms and help with living with the illness.
The treatments that are available are:
- Medication – can include mood stabilisers and can be used to treat early symptoms such as depression and mania
- Learning the triggers of an episode of depression or mania
- Talking therapy can help with the depression and help with relationships with friends and family
- Organisations can give advice on how to live with bipolar and offer support groups for those living with the illness
Of course talking about problems by way of counselling can in many cases relieve symptoms. It is good to talk to get to the bottom of certain issues to begin to understand and manage them. Please speak to us here at Salford Counselling, in complete confidence and arrange an initial consultation.