Bipolar disorder is a disease that alters the brain systems that regulate the patient's mood. This affectation causes episodes of depression and euphoria (episodes of euphoria are called mania or hypomania according to their intensity).
It is a chronic and recurrent disease, so it is necessary to perform a preventive treatment to avoid the appearance of new episodes, which are known as phases, and which tend to continue to occur. Between each phase, the psychological stability of the person is total, reason why its recovery seems evident. According to the patient, the illness and the treatment he receives, these periods of stability may be short or very long, even years. The most classic form of this disease, known as bipolar I disorder, affects just under 2% of the population.
Causes of Bipolar Disorder
Although the cause of this disease is currently unknown, it is known that the origin of bipolar disorder is fundamentally biological. And within the biological causes, the genetic ones could be those that acquire more importance. It is very possible that a certain predisposition to suffer the disease is inherited. There are also factors that can also be triggers of the phases. Among these factors is the consumption of toxins, stress or lack of sleep, among others.
What symptomatology does it present?
Bipolar disorder is not only manifested in more or less sudden changes in the patient's mood. To diagnose the disease with certainty, the specialist in Psychiatry must know that the patient has really suffered episodes of sadness and euphoria of sufficient intensity and duration to talk about phases of depression and mania; And is that bipolar disorder can only be diagnosed if one or more phases of mania have appeared. By mania it is understood that there is a period of time in which the patient is continuously euphoric or irritable, to which can be added accelerated language, hyperactivity, reduction of hours of sleep or megalomaniac thoughts, for example.
Treatments for Bipolar Disorder
There are two main types of treatments to treat bipolar disorder. On the one hand, that of the phases, once depression and mania have appeared, and on the other hand, the maintenance treatment of the disease to prevent the appearance of new phases. These types of preventive treatments of the appearance of new episodes are denominated stabilizers of the mood. Fundamentally they are of three types: lithium salts, some antiepileptics and some antipsychotic drugs. The specialist should be especially careful in the treatment of episodes of depression and euphoria, because the psychotropic drugs used can generate affective instability, facilitating the appearance of new phases.
For more information on bipolar disorder, consult a specialist in Psychiatry .