DR.J & COLLEAGUES

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Doctor's Desk

Bipolar Disorder 

What is Bipolar Disorder?

 

Bipolar Disorder is a mental health condition that affects your moods. These moods can rapidly change in a short space of time. Bipolar Disorder used to be known as manic depression. The extreme changes in mood can present periods of what is called mania and periods of depression. Some people can feel high and low at the same time. 

Symptoms

 

The symptoms of bipolar disorder can be very varied and depend on the type of person. Symptoms experienced can be caused by other existing conditions which can often make it difficult to diagnose. Generally, symptoms of bipolar disorder can be divided into symptoms of mania and depression. 

Mania Symptoms

  • Becoming very easily distracted 

  • Feeling very restless or impulsive 

  • Needing less sleep than usual 

  • Feeling very happy or 'high' for long periods 

  • Being very personally over confident 

  • Becoming involved in behaviour that could put you at risk such as gambling, drinking, impulsive sexual partners. 

Depression Symptoms 

  • Feeling very sad and helpless 

  • Not wanting to see friends or family 

  • Losing interest in things that would usually bring you joy 

  • A change in appetite 

  • Constant lack of energy 

  • Increased problems with memory and concentration

  • Suicidal thoughts 

If you think someone is at immediate risk of self-harm or hurting another person:

  • Call 911 or your local emergency number.

  • Stay with the person until help arrives.

  • Remove any guns, knives, medications, or other things that may cause harm.

  • Listen — but don’t judge, argue, threaten, or yell

If you think someone is considering suicide:

  • Get help from a crisis or suicide prevention hotline. Try the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

Sources: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Diagnosis

Our consultant psychiatrists can carry out a psychiatric assessment to determine the type and symptoms of bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder can be often misdiagnosed due to there being variations. People can suffer from Bipolar Disorder many years before receiving a diagnosis.  Accessing treatment can help sufferers in reducing the intensity and length of symptoms. It is important to get help early to ensure effective treatment can be put into place.