An explanation of bipolar hypomania
By: Don Penven
Bipolar disorder, which is also known as manic-depression syndrome, is a condition occurring in the brain that causes unusual shifts in energy, mood and activity levels. It may be best defined as a total shift in personality from what had been the norm.
Those afflicted with bipolar disorder will often lack the ability to perform and complete simple, every day activities and tasks.
The symptoms of bipolar disorder are often severe in that they differ significantly from the normal ups and downs that all of us experience from time to time. These symptoms will often result in disrupted relationships, poor performance at one’s job or school, and thoughts of, or actually committing suicide, but it can be treated by professionals specializing in mental disorders, and people with this condition can lead normal, and significantly productive lives.
Bipolar disorder often develops during the teen or young adult years. About half of all cases begin prior to age 25. In some people, their first symptoms may appear during preteen, childhood age, while others may develop their symptoms later in life.
Recognizing the onset of bipolar disorder is difficult to recognize when it first manifests itself. The symptoms may seem like separate problems with different sources, and they are often not recognized as pieces of a larger puzzle. The tragedy is that some people may suffer for years before they are properly diagnosed and treatment begins. Bipolar disorder is much like diabetes or heart disease; it is a long-term illness that must be professionally managed throughout the person’s life.
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
Frequent symptoms of bipolar depression and hypermania may include:Loss of interest in those things that once were an important part of life
- An overall sense of tiredness coupled with sluggish behavior
- More often than not those suffering from bipolar disorder may also have periods of depression.
- The individual may harbor a feeling of sadness, hopelessness, poor self-worth and guilt
- Fits of crying for no obvious reason
- Loss or lack of concentration. postponing decision making, digging up episodes from the past
- Frequent body pain such as unexplained headaches, back pain and stomach disorder
- Extreme changes in appetite and sleep patterns
- Aggressive or argumentative behavior
Some sufferers of bipolar disorder do not demonstrate such extremes as mentioned above. The shifts in mood and temperament are slight and often not recognized by those around them.
Hypomania: Manic episodes are very low key and may even seem like normal behavior if they reoccur over time. These periods are brief and less severe. Those that fall into the hypomania diagnosis will often be able to function normally at work or school, and many cases have gone undiagnosed for many years. The most frequently reported symptom is depression.
Oddly enough, manic episodes may be characterized by extreme happiness or jovial hyperactivity. This condition results in very little need for sleep attended by rapid thoughts and speech. But gradually the sufferer may slip into a period when he/she no longer shows interest in many activities that once gave him/her pleasure. Happiness yields to hopelessness.
Manic episodes may also assume a darker form that includes sudden outbursts of temper—yelling, and even screaming at others, and spewing forth obscenities, all of which may be triggered by some harmless remark made by another person.. The extreme during this form of hyper mania may lead to violence—either self-inflicted or inflicted on others.
It is not uncommon for those witnessing such a condition to become fearful and to resort to calling the authorities for assistance. Medical sources tell us that, On average, someone with bipolar disorder may have up to three years of normal mood between episodes of mania or depression.
Depression Will Not Just Heal Itself
Bipolar disorder is not a condition in which, if you ignore it—it will just go away. More than 90% of the individuals who have a single manic episode will repeat this experience by exhibiting similar episodes in the future. Some heath care researchers state that approximately 70% of manic episodes of bipolar disorder sufferers occurs just before or after a period of depression. Professional treatment is indicated when the first symptoms manifest themselves. Treatment seeks to reduce these feelings of mania and depression manifested in these individuals having this disorder—the purpose of this treatment having the goal of restoring a sense of balance in the individual’s mood.
Controlling Bipolar Disorder
Dipolar disorder has no known cure, but it can be controlled with drugs and therapy. For a good start, contact your local state or county mental health services for guidance.
Many support groups for bipolar disorder are easily found on the Internet. To find a support group that may cover your situation, Google the keywords, bipolar disorder support groups.
Prescribed medications can bring about control of the symptoms, and this is a far better approach to lessening the problem than the sufferer resorting to alcohol or “street drugs” in order to limit the hopelessness and depression. Long term medication under the supervision of a medical provider is the only effective method for the sufferer in regaining a measure of control.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) states that more than four percent of the U.S. population suffers from bipolar disorder. This is almost twice the world-wide average.
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To Read One Woman’s personal story check out Married to Mania