What is Bipolar Disorder? Description, symptoms, treatment 2024 news at ITIL.press

What is Bipolar Disorder? Description, symptoms, treatment

What does "bipolar" mean? The affectionate word hides an unpleasant nervous system disorder. The diminutive endearment for bipolar disorder came into common usage after a text by a rapper popular with young people.

In fact, there's nothing cute or funny about the condition. Bipolar disorder is quite common and many stars have dealt with it. Recently, Kathryn Zeta-Jones openly announced that she has the disorder. Kurt Cobain, Marilyn Monroe, Jimi Hendrix, Ernest Hemingway. Anyone can get it. Today we're going to find out what it is — bipolar.

Bipolar Disorder definition

Bipolar disorder is manic-depressive psychosis. In simple words, it is a mood disorder. It is characterised by periodic changes in the emotional background. Both good and bad moods are expressed in an extreme form. This is either unrestrained joy, or a deafening depression, when even with the bed is difficult to get up. In between the phases, the person returns to normal, going into remission. Between episodes, they are able to lead a full life. How do you know if what is happening is bipolar? What distinguishes it from ordinary mood swings?


A person with bipolar affective disorder tends to do things that are completely out of character for them. A workaholic may suddenly quit his job. The thrifty one will spend all their savings. Often people with the disorder abuse alcohol or psychotropic substances at the time of the attack. They find it difficult to stop, which leads to health and relationship problems.

After this period, depression inevitably sets in. The person feels guilty. This is exacerbated by losses that have occurred during the manic period (financial or personal). The person isolates themselves from society. Sometimes they stop going out of the house altogether.

Symptoms of bipolar disorder

The external and internal signs of bipolar disorder are related to the phases of the illness. In some patients, they run one after the other, constantly replacing each other, i.e. without a break.

Bipolar Disorder: Manic phase

This phase lasts at least seven days. Its manifestations are:

  • frequent change of mood from irritability to anger, then to euphoria and so on;
  • sleep becomes short or disappears altogether;
  • an increased need for food;
  • speech becomes intermittent, the patient speaks quickly, in fragments;
  • it becomes difficult to get things done; work is abandoned in the middle;
  • increased sexual interest in the opposite sex;
  • the patient behaves in a defiant manner, tries to attract attention;
  • The patient tends to exaggerate his or her own importance, striving to stand out and earn praise and appreciation (he or she thinks he or she is better than others).

Psychology sees this phase as a combination of three processes. Mood rises, movement speeds up and thinking activity increases. The more severe the attack, the more pronounced these symptoms become.

Bipolar Disorder: Hypomania

This phase lasts at least four days. It is characterized by:

  • the patient feels no discomfort with the changes in mood and activity;
  • sleep gradually becomes shorter;
  • the patient feels a surge of energy, a high spirits;
  • everything goes well at work, they want to work;
  • the patient denies any changes in his or her behaviour, even when reprimanded by loved ones.

Bipolar Disorder: Depressive phase

The longest by duration — at least two weeks. It is characterized by:

  • apathy, low mood and a feeling of sadness and melancholy;
  • sluggishness and sluggishness;
  • reaction to external stimuli is poorly expressed;
  • feeling of irritation becomes more frequent, alternating with feelings of guilt;
  • the patient stops eating, sometimes, on the contrary, he/she begins to consume a lot of food;
  • excessive sleepiness or no sleep at all;
  • suicide attempts are possible.

In primary bipolar disorder, the depressive phase comes first. This makes it difficult to diagnose the disorder immediately. Doctors may confuse it with recurrent depressive disorder and start treatment with antidepressants.

Causes of Bipolar Disorder

Women are more often diagnosed with the disorder than men. It has not been possible to find out what this is due to. But the fact is confirmed by statistics. Specific causes have not been established, but there are some peculiarities in the manifestation:

  • It has been found out that "bipolar" is a disease that manifests itself at different ages. More cases have been recorded in adolescents and young adults.
  • It has been observed that those whose relatives have had bipolar disorder have a higher risk of developing the disorder. The disease is hereditary.
  • The onset and development of bipolar disorder is related to the loss of serotonin in the body.
  • The acute form of the illness is triggered by severe psychological distress or loss.

How do you recognise bipolar disorder?

Is there a way to recognise that "bipolar" is something that is happening to you? Or is it just a normal mood swings? There are two types of the disorder; they differ in the severity of the psychosis and the combination of phases. In the first type, the disorder is severe, with mania and depression becoming intrusive and unbearable. In the second type, the mania is not as strong, but the depression is harsh and uncompromising. More often, it is the second type, and the trigger is a psychological crisis in the life of the patient.

What to do with bipolar disorder?

If you have suspicions, see a doctor immediately. This should be done if there are ten or more of the above symptoms. In particular, the patient is at risk when suicidal thoughts appear.

The first step is to see a general practitioner. The doctor will prescribe an examination. Urine and thyroid tests may give an indication of a different kind of illness, which is similar in its manifestations to bipolar disorder. Certain diseases (diabetes, hypothyroidism, etc.) produce similar symptoms. By excluding these pathologies it is easier to make a diagnosis. You need to treat the true cause of the mood disorder.

The second step is to see a psychologist. The doctor will examine the patient's lifestyle, conduct questionnaires and tests, examine the family environment, psychological trauma and memories from childhood. Based on the findings, if the diagnosis is confirmed, treatment will be prescribed. This can be either behavioural or medical, depending on the severity.


Bipolar personality disorder is a condition that can be controlled. If diagnosed, share this information with your loved ones. This could be a family member you trust or a friend. The support of a loved one is important for recovery.

The next step is to review your lifestyle. Giving up bad habits will slow down the manifestation of crisis situations. It is desirable to start eating right, so that the body receives all the necessary microelements.

Walking in the fresh air helps to bring oxygen to the brain and improve blood circulation. This, in turn, calms and enables the brain to recover. A relaxing hobby organises your leisure time and gives you a chance to take your mind off sad thoughts.

For those who like to be active, sports are the best remedy. Physical fatigue after a workout promotes healthy sleep and normalises the body. Use a daily routine that avoids activities that make you sad and depressed.

Studying the case histories of "peers" with bipolar disorder can help. Those who have survived the illness reveal their treatment options in open sources. The information will provide insight and options for an effective recovery process.