What is Bipolar disorder?
Manic-depressive disease, also known as bipolar disorder, is a mental health condition marked by significant mood changes. These mood swings can vary from extreme euphoria and mania (referred to as manic episodes) to severe depression.
A person with bipolar disorder may have symptoms such as extreme happiness, agitation, increased energy, decreased need for sleep, racing thoughts, and impulsiveness during a manic episode. They may also indulge in dangerous habits such as shopping binges or promiscuity. A person with bipolar disorder may suffer symptoms such as melancholy, hopelessness, loss of energy, difficulty concentrating, and changes in sleep and eating during a depressive episode. They may also have suicidal ideas.
Bipolar disorder is a chronic illness that usually necessitates lifetime therapy. A combination of drugs (such as mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and antipsychotics) and counseling may be utilized in treatment (such as cognitive-behavioral therapy or family-focused therapy).
What are the characteristics of bipolar disorder?
Bipolar disorder has the following characteristics:
Bipolar illness patients experience periods of great euphoria and vigor (known as manic episodes) as well as periods of severe despair.
- Manic episodes: Symptoms of a manic episode include extreme happiness, agitation, increased energy, decreased need for sleep, racing thoughts, and impulsiveness. They may also indulge in dangerous habits such as shopping binges or promiscuity.
- Depressed episodes: Symptoms of a depressive episode include melancholy, hopelessness, loss of energy, difficulty focusing, and changes in sleep and eating. They may also have suicidal ideas.
It is noteworthy that different kinds of bipolar disorder exist, including bipolar I disorder (defined by manic episodes lasting at least one week and may be severe enough to necessitate hospitalization) and bipolar II disorder (characterized by less severe manic episodes known as hypomanic episodes and usually periods of depression). It is believed that approximately 2.8% of the US population suffers from bipolar disorder, however, the condition is frequently misdiagnosed and underdiagnosed. Bipolar disorder can have a considerable impact on a person’s everyday life, negatively affecting relationships, work or school, and general quality of life.
What is meant by a manic episode?
A manic episode is defined as a period of heightened or irritated mood, energy, and activity levels that lasts at least one week and is severe enough to disrupt daily functioning significantly. Bipolar disorder, commonly known as manic-depressive illness, is characterized by manic episodes.
“What goes up must come down.” Mania causes people with bipolar disorder to climb higher and higher and then crash like a wave rolling into the shore.Troy Steven
During a manic episode, a person may experience the following symptoms:
- Excessive joy, excitement, or irritation
- High levels of activity and a decreased need for sleep Racing thoughts and fast speech
- Impulsivity and poor judgment lead to risky behavior such as spending sprees, promiscuous behavior, or unsafe driving.
- Thinking that is illogical or delusory
Examples of manic episodes include:
- A person embarks on a shopping spree, spending thousands of dollars on stuff they do not need and cannot afford.
- A person who stays awake for days on end, indulging in excessive activities such as partying, working, or traveling without tiring.
- Someone speaks loudly and quickly, moves from one issue to the next, and cannot be interrupted.
- A person gets impatient and aggressive, provoking disputes with friends and family.
- A person begins to engage in risky activities such as reckless driving or substance addiction.
To be called a manic episode, these symptoms must cause significant impairment in daily functioning and cannot be caused by substance abuse or medicine.
What are the root causes of mania?
The precise causes of mania are unknown, although research suggests that a combination of genetic, biochemical, and environmental variables may be involved.
- Hereditary factors: Bipolar disorder, which is marked by manic episodes, has been proven in studies to run in families. This shows that the illness may have a hereditary component.
- Biological factors: Changes in the levels of neurotransmitters that regulate mood, such as dopamine and serotonin, may contribute to the development of mania.
- Environmental factors: Stressful events such as a family death, a breakup, or a job loss can precipitate manic episodes. Substance misuse and noncompliance with medication may also contribute to the development of a manic episode.
- Medical conditions: Manic episodes can also be triggered by medical disorders such as brain injury, infection, or chronic sickness.
It is crucial to emphasize that not everyone who has these risk factors develops mania, and not everyone who has mania has these risk factors. Furthermore, having one or more risk factors does not guarantee that a person would acquire mania.
What is meant by brain recovery after a manic episode?
The process of repairing and restoring the brain’s normal functioning after a period of extreme emotional and physical stress is referred to as brain recovery after a manic episode. During a manic episode, the brain’s chemistry and the function of specific brain regions change, which can result in symptoms such as agitation, impulsivity, and poor judgment. After the manic episode, the brain takes time in restoring to its normal functioning.
Case study for mania
Case Study 1: John, 35 years
A 35-year-old man named John has been identified as having bipolar disorder. He just went through a manic episode, which was defined by the following signs and symptoms:
- Extreme euphoria and lots of energy
- Reduced desire for sleep Rapid-fire speech and racing thoughts
- Impulsivity and bad judgment, which result in a spending binge
- Aggression, irritability, and fury
- An exaggerated sense of self-worth and grandiose delusions
- Increased lustfulness
John’s manic episode started abruptly and out of the blue. He didn’t fall asleep for several days and continued to do excessive amounts of work, partying, and traveling. He squandered thousands of dollars on frivolous purchases and became irritated and violent, starting confrontations with acquaintances and family members. He also had delusions thinking he was a strong and influential individual.
What are the therapies and treatments available for treating mania?
Mania is often treated with a triage of drugs, therapy, and lifestyle modifications. The purpose of treatment is to lessen symptoms, stop recurrences, and enhance general functioning.
- Medication: Atypical antipsychotics like olanzapine and risperidone, as well as mood stabilizers like lithium and valproic acid, are frequently used to assist treat the symptoms of a manic episode. These drugs may aid in mood stabilization, agitation reduction, and cognitive improvement.
- Therapy: Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or talk therapy can assist a person in identifying triggers and constructing coping mechanisms for manic episodes. Family therapy may be helpful as well because it can aid in understanding the disease and support from family members.
- Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT): ECT is a procedure that involves passing a tiny electric current through the brain to induce a seizure. It is used to treat severe mania after all other therapies have failed.
- Hospitalization: A person may require hospitalization in some situations to stabilize their health and keep them safe during a manic episode.
- Change in lifestyle: Lifestyle modifications, like getting adequate sleep, eating a balanced diet, and keeping physically active, can assist to alleviate the symptoms of a manic episode. Deep breathing, meditation, or yoga, for example, can all assist to alleviate feelings of restlessness and anxiety during a manic episode.
It is critical to highlight that mania treatment should be tailored to the individual’s personal demands.
Enroll in our course: Bipolar Depression – Mindfulness approach to bipolar disorder
Do changes in lifestyle and eating habits help in managing mania?
Lifestyle and food habits changes may assist to lessen manic symptoms and prevent future episodes. Here are a couple such examples:
- Sleep: Getting adequate sleep is essential for overall health and for managing manic episodes. Aiming for 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night can help lessen mania symptoms.
Watch video: Scientific method to sleep better
- Diet: A nutritious diet high in fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains will assist to enhance overall health, reduce inflammation, and regulate mood. Avoiding coffee, alcohol, and processed meals may also assist to alleviate manic symptoms.
How do you calm a manic episode immediately?
Calming a manic episode might be difficult, but there are numerous ways that may work.
Some of them are:
- Medications and Therapy: Mood stabilizers like lithium and valproic acid, as well as atypical antipsychotics like olanzapine and risperidone, are frequently recommended to assist lessen the symptoms of a manic episode. Therapy can assist a person in learning to identify triggers and create coping techniques for managing manic episodes.
- Hospitalization: A person may require hospitalization in some situations to stabilize their health and keep them safe during a manic episode.
- Self-care activities: Self-care activities like obtaining adequate sleep, eating a good diet, and being physically active can help to alleviate the symptoms of a manic episode.
- Confronting or confining in someone you trust: Talking to a loved one, a friend, or a therapist can assist an individual in processing their feelings and developing a plan to handle the episode.
It’s important to remember that during a manic episode, it can be difficult for the person to make decisions and stick to treatment plans, so family and loved ones may need to play an active part in seeking help and ensuring that the individual receives appropriate care.
How can one reduce mania naturally and what are some coping skills for dealing with mania?
There are various natural ways to diminish mania, but it’s vital to remember that controlling a manic episode necessitates the assistance of a mental health expert, and the treatment should be tailored to the individual’s specific needs. Also, Mania can be difficult to deal with, therefore it’s critical for people to learn coping mechanisms to control their symptoms.
The following list of coping mechanisms may be useful for controlling manic symptoms:
- Maintain a routine: Maintaining a regular schedule can assist to lessen agitation and restlessness. This can include adhering to a regular eating, sleeping, and exercise schedule.
- Practice relaxation methods: Relaxation methods can assist to lessen feelings of agitation and anxiety during a manic episode. These include deep breathing, meditation, yoga, and progressive muscle relaxation.
Watch video: Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) Guided
- Reduce stimulation: Avoiding stimuli like TV, the internet, and video games can assist to calm anxiety and restlessness during a manic episode.
- Participate in physical activity: Physical activity on a regular basis can help to reduce stress, enhance mood, and increase general well-being. Aiming for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most days of the week, such as brisk walking, cycling, or swimming, can assist to enhance mood.
- Journaling: Keeping a journal can assist an individual in tracking symptoms, triggers, and moods, which can aid in detecting trends and managing the episode.
- Communicate with loved ones: Speaking with a loved one, a friend, or a therapist can assist an individual in processing their feelings and developing a plan to deal with the event.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs: Substance misuse can exacerbate manic symptoms and lead to risky conduct.
- Get adequate sleep: The brain needs enough shut-eye to recuperate from the strain of a manic episode. Sleeping enough is essential for managing manic episodes as well as for overall wellness.
- Improve your “self-concept”: Encourage yourself by talking positively to yourself and reminding yourself that you can control this episode and that it will pass.
- Seek expert assistance: It’s critical to contact a mental health professional as soon as you can for assistance. A mental health expert can offer the assistance, care, and direction required to control the episode and stop further ones.
It’s important to keep in mind that not all coping mechanisms will be effective for you, so it’s crucial to identify the ones that do.
A case study showing the benefits of therapies and treatment options in a case of mania
Case Study 2: Michael, 42 years
Bipolar disorder has been identified in 42-year-old Michael. He has previously gone through a number of manic episodes, which are marked by symptoms including intense exhilaration, increased energy, decreased need for sleep, racing thoughts, impulsivity, and bad judgment.
Michael’s treatment program combines therapy, medication, and lifestyle modifications. Lithium, a mood stabilizer, is given to him as a prescription to aid with the symptoms of mania. Additionally, he attends weekly cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) sessions to learn trigger recognition and create coping mechanisms for manic episodes.
As a result, Michael’s manic episode symptoms have decreased thanks to his treatment. He claims to feel more in control of his emotions and moods, and he is more adept at controlling his impulsivity and bad judgment.
He also claims that his friendships and family ties have improved because he is less irritated and violent during manic episodes. He also exercises regularly, gets adequate sleep, eats a nutritious diet, and uses relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga. He also restricts his intake of alcohol and caffeine, which has helped him manage his manic episodes.
Michael hasn’t had a manic episode in over a year, and he’s been able to return to work and keep a steady job. He states that his quality of life has substantially improved, and he is appreciative of the assistance and care he has received.
It’s critical to remember that treating mania includes continual monitoring and control of the symptoms. Treatment is not a one-time event. To keep himself stable, Michael continues to work with his therapist, psychiatrist, and support group.
Symptoms of mania include exhilaration, great energy, a decreased need for sleep, racing thoughts, impulsiveness, and poor judgment. Mania is a severe condition of emotional excitability. It can have a substantial effect on a person’s personal and professional life and is a symptom of bipolar disorder. Mania is effectively treated with a cocktail of drugs, counseling, and lifestyle modifications. Atypical antipsychotics and mood stabilizers can help to lessen symptoms and stabilize mood, and therapy can help people learn to identify triggers and create coping mechanisms for manic episodes. Individuals suffering from mania can use self-help measures to control their symptoms in addition to professional treatment. Self-care actions like obtaining adequate sleep, eating a good diet, and being physically active can aid in symptom reduction. Deep breathing, meditation, and yoga are all relaxation techniques that can help reduce feelings of agitation and anxiety. Limiting stimulation, avoiding alcohol and drugs, and seeking social support from friends, family, or a therapist are all vital. Journaling and keeping track of symptoms, triggers, and moods might also help you detect trends and manage the episode.
The process of recovering from a manic episode differs from person to person and might take some time, but with the right support and treatment, people can regain their emotional stability and enhance their quality of life in general. Maniac patients should also get expert assistance as soon as possible and adhere to their treatment plan religiously.