Bipolar disorder is an often misunderstood mental disorder. Unfortunately, due to the condition not being completely understood, bipolar disorder sufferers are often the victims of stigmas and prejudice. There are two phases of the disorder. Sufferers experience alternating periods of extreme mood swings that range between extremely elevated moods and depression. These elevated moods are also referred to as “mania”, and are the defining feature of the disorder. The level of severity can vary greatly between individuals with the disorder. Depending on the level of severity, sufferers may act erratically and exhibit other signs of risky behavior. Despite being studied for many years, the exact cause of the disorder is still shrouded in mystery. However, genetic and environmental factors are widely recognized as the predominant determinants.
Sadly, individuals with bipolar disorder are often misdiagnosed. Because there is currently no biological test that can definitively confirm the disorder, individuals are diagnosed based on the assessment of other factors. Abnormalities in behavior and the presence of specific signs and symptoms, followed by interviews and observation in a clinical setting are required for diagnosis. Tests to exclude other conditions may also be performed. There are several sub-types of the disorder, and sufferers may fall anywhere across a large spectrum of symptoms.
There is no known cure for bipolar disorder. However, the disorder is at least treatable in most cases. With proper treatment, many sufferers go on to lead fulfilling lives. Effective treatments focus on helping sufferers stabilize their moods and reduce the severity of the disorder’s related symptoms. Bipolar Disorder Treatment is lifelong. Treatment usually includes a combination of medication, psychotherapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy. A part of an individual’s Bipolar Disorder Treatment may also include making important lifestyle changes. Clinical studies have shown that medication, when used in combination with psychotherapy, is the most effective treatment plan for most patients. Psychotherapy helps individuals understand the effects of the disorder their life, provides the individual with the tools to cope with the disorder, and is an outlet for sufferers to discuss their feelings and choices. Emotional support and encouragement from friends and loved ones is very important to an effective treatment plan as well.