Bipolar Disorder 101: The Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment Options
Approximately 1/4 of all suicides are related to bipolar disorder. It’s one of the most dangerous mental disorders in the world if it goes untreated for long periods.
There are signs and symptoms to look out for if you or a loved one suspect they have bipolar disorder. It’s characterized by episodes that lead to rapid changes in mood or behavior.
There is a wide range of treatment options available. Medication and therapy are the go-to methods. Alternative therapies and lifestyle changes are also common.
Using an online pharmacy is one of the best ways to save money and get the treatment you need. Please read our guide to bipolar disorder to learn more about the signs, symptoms, and treatment options.
What Is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder affects approximately 45 million patients throughout the world. It’s a common condition that can be difficult to spot.
Bipolar is a mental disorder like depression and schizophrenia. It’s characterized by rapid changes in mood.
Patients ride a rollercoaster of emotions. They may sink into depressive episodes and/or rise to periods of hyperactive and irritable mania with stable periods in-between.
Medication and psychological support are some of the most effective ways to combat bipolar disorder. It’s also necessary to know the signs and symptoms used to diagnose it so you or your loved ones can seek treatment.
Signs of Bipolar Disorder
Mental health conditions lead to changes in a patient’s behavior or lifestyle. Look for signs of mania, psychosis, depression, and/or mixed mood episodes.
Signs of a Manic Episode
Mania is a hyperactive state of extreme activity. Signs of this type of episode include:
- Elevated mood
- Rapidly changing moods
- Increased appetite
- Increased libido
- Loss of concentration
Signs of Psychosis
Psychosis shows up as an exaggerated form of other episodes. Behaviors to look out for include:
- Incomprehensible speech
- Loss of touch with reality
Signs of a Depressive Episode
Behaviors during these episodes resemble those of depression patients. This includes:
- Low moods
- Sleep issues
- Changes in appetite
- Loss of interest in previously pleasurable activities
- Excessive guilt
- Thoughts of death or suicide
Signs of Mixed Episodes
Mixed episodes include all the previously mentioned signs. They’re also characterized by rapidly changing moods, swinging from manic happiness and activity to depressive sadness and a lack of motivation.
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is characterized by rapid changes in mood or behavior. Its symptoms are episodes of mania, depression, and/or a mixture of both.
The frequency at which you’ll experience each episode depends on the type of bipolar disorder you have. Bipolar I and Bipolar II are the most common diagnoses.
Patients with Bipolar I have experienced at least 1 manic episode and 1 depressive episode. Bipolar II can include manic episodes but tends to cause depressive episodes more often.
Initial manic episodes can last for 2-4 months. Depressive episodes can last 8 months or longer.
There’s no single test to diagnose bipolar disorder, but there are ways to spot an episode. If you or a loved one notice the symptoms and signs listed above, you should get help right away.
Treatment Options for Bipolar Disorder
The average length of time between a patient’s first bipolar episode and the day they begin treatment is 10 years. They also go through an average of 4 doctors before finding the right treatment.
There are several methods used to treat bipolar disorder. An online pharmacy makes all the options easier to obtain at affordable prices.
There are several types of medication for bipolar disorder. Finding the right one is the best way to reduce symptoms.
Lithium is the most common medication for bipolar disorder. It’s available in capsule, tablet, or liquid form and helps stabilize the patient’s mood.
Side effects of lithium include nausea, shaking, dry mouth, increased urination, diarrhea, weight gain, increased thirst, decreased appetite, kidney or thyroid issues, fatigue, and emotional problems.
Signs of lithium toxicity include concentration issues, confusion, fatigue, vomiting, abnormal heart rhythms, and tremors or seizures.
Anticonvulsant medications used to treat seizures also work as mood stabilizers. A few of the most popular options used to treat bipolar disorder are Depakote, Lamictal, Depakene, Equetro, and Topamax.
In addition to the side effects of lithium, anticonvulsants can also cause blurred vision, drowsiness, rashes, and a decreased white blood cell count. Topiramate causes additional side effects like memory problems and kidney stones.
Antipsychotic medications help treat periods of psychosis. Options include Zyprexa, Risperdal, Seroquel, Saphris, Abilify, and Geodon.
Side effects of antipsychotics include constipation, low blood pressure, restlessness, increased saliva production, and reduced libido.
Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications are other popular options. They reduce the mental health symptoms of bipolar disorder.
A combination of lithium, anticonvulsants, antipsychotics, antidepressants, and/or anti-anxiety medication may be necessary in some cases of bipolar disorder. Refilling an online prescription for them is simpler and more discreet.
In severe cases, alternative therapies may be prescribed. These include ECT or electroconvulsive therapy and TMS or transcranial magnetic stimulation.
These treatments stimulate specific areas of the brain. The aim is to reduce the number of episodes a patient experiences.
There is risk involved with these alternative therapies, but they can also provide the relief a patient seeks.
Lifestyle changes can also be helpful for those suffering from bipolar disorder. These include life charts, psychotherapy, mindfulness techniques, dietary changes, and supplements.
Keeping a life chart increases the effectiveness of therapy and medication. It keeps track of symptoms to make communication with doctors and therapists easier.
Psychotherapy and mindfulness techniques help patients deal with the emotional impact of bipolar disorder. They can provide relief from symptoms and help patients avoid entering a hopeless state.
Dietary changes and supplements are also important. Reducing alcohol and eating a healthy diet reduces the chance of any physical causes of the condition.
If you or a loved one have bipolar disorder, speak with a doctor and/or psychiatrist. They can develop a plan that provides relief.
Where Can I Get Help for Bipolar Disorder?
Like any mental disorder, there is a great deal of misinformation about bipolar disorder. It is more than occasional mood swings and affects every aspect of a patient’s behavior and emotional state.
Medication is the first line of defense against this deadly disease. Options include lithium, anticonvulsants, and anti-anxiety or anti-depression drugs. Getting them from an online pharmacy is the most convenient and affordable option.
Online Pharmacies Canada is one of the best ways to compare and obtain different medication options. Place a new order to get affordable, convenient bipolar disorder treatment today.