Effects Of Bipolar Disorder On People’s Lives
Bipolar disorder is a mental illness characterized by intense shifts in mood, with unstable energy and activity levels. The effect of this disorder is so severe, as it can seriously affect an individual’s academic performance, undermine their career prospects and destroy relationships. Due to the overwhelming nature of these emotional shifts, individuals may even prefer to choose suicide, according to the American Psychological Association.
What Is Bipolar Disorder?
Formerly known as “manic depression,” bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness that often starts in the late teen and early adult years of a person. However, this lifetime illness can also affect but children and adults. Bipolar disorder is a relatively common condition. From depression to mania, people with this disorder often experience severe fluctuations in mood. But in between peaks and troughs, moods are usually known to be normal.
Bipolar disorder is much more severe, incapacitation and debilitating than another mental condition but it has nothing to do with life’s vicissitudes. Fortunately, sufferers of this disorder can still lead a meaningful life. With the right medication, proper care, and treatment, patients can perform well at school, work and even function effectively in their day-to-day activities.
Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder
While more than half of all bipolar cases begin between ages 15 and 25, about 2.9 percent of Americans are diagnosed with the disorder. When a person has bipolar disorder, he/she tends to find it difficult to differentiate fantasy from reality. They could be hearing or seeing things that are not there (hallucinations) and have the strong feeling of false beliefs (delusions). Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder are commonly experienced in two episodes.
The Up Feeling (Mania)
During manic/hypomanic situations, the individual is very likely to take part in dangerous activities and get involved in certain risky behaviours such as abusing illegal drugs and/or alcohol and getting engaged in promiscuity (higher libido). Euphoria, exhilaration and a feeling of being on top of the world are common symptoms during this episode.
Sometimes, patients tend to act upon certain bizarre ideas that come to their minds. Thoughts come and go very quickly. As a result of these racing thoughts, patients’ judgment may be impaired. Sometimes, the individual may be aggressive and extremely forthcoming in this phase.
The Down Feeling (Depression)
This episode is usually characterized by listlessness, fatigue, extreme tiredness, low attention span, insomnia and sleeping problems, extreme sadness and anxiety about trivial things. In severe cases, the patient may want to act on suicidal thoughts and ending their life. Also, certain environment factors like tight clothing, smell, and noise that are often ignored or tolerated could sassily get them irritated.
Although bipolar disorder may be said to be a long-term disruptive condition, a patient’s mood can be effectively kept in check through a treatment plan. Catherine Zeta-Jones is one of many people who had had a very public battle with bipolar disorder. Back in 2011, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder II – a condition she has been struggling with for years now. But it seems psychotherapy and medications are helping to put the condition of the 46-year-old under control.