Bipolar Disorder is a mental disorder that exhibits many symptoms, and has many treatments available. This disorder can sometimes be difficult to diagnose and many factors are involved in finding the best course of action to help the patient.
What is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar Disorder is sometimes also referred to as Manic Depression. Depression and Bipolar Disorder can have similar symptoms and may sometimes be difficult to differentiate between the two. Bipolar disorder is a mental illness causing a person to have quick and sharp mood swings, shifting their energy level and inhibiting them from functioning normally in their daily life. The symptoms can arise during childhood and the teen years, however more than half of all bipolar cases exhibit symptoms after the age of 25.
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
Some of the symptoms of Bipolar disorder can include aggressive and/or risky behavior, a feeling of euphoria, racing thoughts, anxiety, delusions, rapid speech, insomnia, excess energy, mania and it may also exhibit some of the same symptoms of depression.
Bipolar I and Bipolar II
There are two different kinds of Bipolar disorder. Bipolar I is the manic depressive form of the disorder that typically exhibits at least one manic episode and episodes of depression.
Bipolar II does not exhibit manic episodes of full proportion, however patients do experience episodes of severe depression and hypomania.
Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder can be very difficult to diagnose because it exhibits a lot of the same symptoms as other mental illnesses and even some physical disorders. To make a diagnosis the doctor must know all of the symptoms and decide whether or not the symptoms and mood swings have a specific pattern. The doctor will also need to know the patient's family history, personal history, memory, reasoning skills and past relationships.
The doctor may run blood tests to rule out any physical disorders that may be causing some of the symptoms.
Treatment of Bipolar Disorder
Depending on the severity of bipolar, the patient may need to be hospitalized initially if he exhibits dangerous symptoms. An initial medication will be given to help stabilize the mood before moving on to the next course of treatment.
Some medications used to treat bipolar disorder are antidepressants, anticonvulsants, anti-psychotics, and Lithium. This medications may be mixed together to gain the best result.
Apart from medicinal treatments the patient should also undergo psychotherapy.
Fatty Acids for Bipolar Disorder and Depression
Studies have shown that omega 3 fatty acids may have the same effect as mood stabilizing medications. A study of men and women ages 18 -65 diagnosed with bipolar I or bipolar II shows that patients who took the 3 fatty acids had a longer remission time than those who took a basic placebo. The improvement of the symptoms were much greater with the omega 3 fatty acids in almost every assessment that has been done. The fatty acids inhibit neuronal signal transduction pathways in the same way that lithium works to effectively treat bipolar disorder.
Patients involved in the study that took a placebo experienced more severe attacks of depression, or a regular reccurance of depressive episodes. .