Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depressive disorder is the most tragic mood disorders of today. It is a brain disorder that causes elevated mood swings ranging from manic states to highly depressive states. This is a mental illness that has many effects in the human body and mind. Symptoms of this disorder are generally different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through. This disorder can result in poor relationships, Poor performance in work/school and at severe levels may even think of suicide. Symptoms of this disorder mostly begin in the age of 25 and the rates appear to be similar in males and females. Many factors are found to be the cause of this illness. The various factors include genetical, physiological and environmental. Genetic factors include a change in the chromosomal regions indicating a history of the illness in the family. Physiological factors include abnormalities in the brain structure or disfunction in certain brain circuits. MRI Of people with this illness shows a small pre frontal cortex when compared with the MRI of normal adults. Out of all these, environment plays an important role in the development and cause of this illness. Mostly stressful events faced during childhood plays a vital role in the development of this illness in the adult age.
Proper treatment along with family support can help reduce the mood swings and related symptoms. Continuous and long term treatment is required for this illness. There are few ways that this illness can be treated. Firstly, this illness can be treated with medications. Medicines such as anti depressants and mood stabilizers are prescribed for this disorder. However, some studies show that anti depressants can also aggravate the severity of manic episodes as well as mood changes. These medications may also be linked with rare but serious side effects. General side effects include drowsiness, joint pains, restlessness, head ache, constipation or diarrhea, cold –like symptoms, nausea etc.,
Second type of treatment available for this illness is Psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is a form of treatment that helps the patient to take control of his/her mood swings. This therapy is highly beneficial since it teaches the patient to identify his/her causes and reduce the severity of the symptoms. Also this therapy has no side effects. The different forms of psychotherapy include interpersonal and social rhythm therapy, CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) and psycho education.
Guided visualization meditation techniques prove highly beneficial for this disorder. Bipolar disorder is a very serious mental illness which when treated at the right time will help the patient to lead a happy and healthy life.