Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Bipolar Disorder

Understanding Bipolar Disorder

We all have our ups and downs, but, with bipolar disorder, these peaks and valleys are more severe. The symptoms of bipolar disorder can hurt your job and school performance, damage your relationships, and disrupt your daily life. And although it’s treatable, many people don’t recognize the warning signs and get the help they need. Since bipolar disorder tends to worsen without treatment, it’s important to learn what the symptoms look like. Recognizing the problem is the first step to getting better.


What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression) causes serious shifts in mood, energy, thinking, and behavior–from the highs of mania on one extreme, to the lows of depression on the other. More than just a fleeting good or bad mood, the cycles of bipolar disorder last for days, weeks, or months. And unlike ordinary mood swings, the mood changes of bipolar disorder are so intense that they interfere with your ability to function.

Common symptoms of bipolar depression include:
Feeling hopeless, sad, or empty
Inability to experience pleasure
Fatigue or loss of energy
Appetite or weight changes
Sleep problems
      Concentration and memory problems
      Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
      Thoughts of death or suicide

Treatment for bipolar disorder

If you spot the symptoms of bipolar depression in yourself or someone else, don’t wait to get help. Ignoring the problem won’t make it go away; in fact, it will almost certainly get worse. Living with untreated bipolar disorder can lead to problems in everything from your career to your relationships to your health. Diagnosing the problem as early as possible and getting into treatment can help prevent these complications.

Basics of bipolar disorder treatment

§                    Bipolar disorder requires long-term treatment. Since bipolar disorder is a chronic, relapsing illness, it’s important to continue treatment even when you’re feeling better. Most people with bipolar disorder need medication to prevent new episodes and stay symptom-free.
§                    There is more to treatment than medication. Medication alone is usually not enough to fully control the symptoms of bipolar disorder. The most effective treatment strategy for bipolar disorder involves a combination of medication, therapy, lifestyle changes, and social support.
§                    It’s best to work with an experienced psychiatrist. Bipolar disorder is a complex condition. Diagnosis can be tricky and treatment is often difficult. For safety reasons, medication should be closely monitored. A psychiatrist who is skilled in bipolar disorder treatment can help you navigate these twists and turns.


Self-help for bipolar disorder

While dealing with bipolar disorder isn’t always easy, it doesn’t have to run your life. But in order to successfully, you have to make smart choices. Your lifestyle and daily habits have a significant impact on your moods. Read on for ways to help yourself:
§                    Get educated. Learn as much as you can about bipolar disorder. The more you know, the better you’ll be at assisting your own recovery.
§                    Keep stress in check. Avoid high-stress situations, maintain a healthy work-life balance, and try relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing.
§                    Seek support. It’s important to have people you can turn to for help and encouragement. Try joining a support group or talking to a trusted friend.
§                    Make healthy choices. Healthy sleeping, eating, and exercising habits can help stabilize your moods. Keeping a regular sleep schedule is particularly important.
§                    Monitor your moods. Keep track of your symptoms and watch for signs that your moods are swinging out of control so you can stop the problem before it starts.
Stress or mood swings rock everyone's balance from time to time. However, when too much stress, anxiety, depression, or worry interferes with your health, career or personal relationships, it’s time to make a change. No matter how difficult things seem, by learning to harness overwhelming stress and gain emotional awareness, you can bring yourself into balance and have a more positive effect on those around you.

For references, you may visit FREE E-BOOKS on BIPOLAR DISORDER.