What is meant by the term Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder is when an individual behaves in two opposite ways, it is an extreme mental illness, it provokes sudden mood swings and the individual will have times of feeling very high and then times of feeling very depressed and may experience strange hallucinations or delusions
What are the possible causes of bipolar disorder?
Science has shown that bipolar disorder is not fully understood, however, like many mental health illnesses there is different range of causes for bipolar disorder, such as the following
- It can be inherited and more likely it may run in the family, however no gene within the family maybe responsible for bipolar disorder
- Bipolar disorder can be triggered by everyday life and stress, these may include
- Stress at work or home
- Relationships problems or breakdown in marriage
- A tragic event such as a loss of life to family or friends
- Emotional, violent or sexual abuse
- Any type of physical illness
- A traumatic event of situation can cause bipolar due to the disturbance of chemicals in the brain. Example could be norepinephrine or dopamine – an imbalance of these levels can cause bipolar disorder
What is a person with Bipolar like?
The feelings of bipolar disorder will vary depending on the individual, for example when an individual suffering with bipolar disorder is feeling high, or known as mania, it can seem like the best feeling and they will have a lot of energy and feel positive. It can make the person feel more productive whilst others may feel angry and restless.
When an individual suffering with Mental Health First Aid Bipolar feels low with depression they may have very low self-esteem and self-worth. It can restrict a person’s life as it can occur for a long duration. Some may suffer from hallucinations or believe they are untouchable. Some describe the manic bipolar as a buzz and exciting.
With both cases of individuals suffering with extreme bipolar disorder, these can last for weeks or in some cases even longer
How does Bipolar Disorder affects the individual and their life?
It can contribute to the individual having a negative outlook on life and thinking negatively, for example, the person cannot function or communicate well. It can affect judgement which can result in serious repercussions or regret.
People with bipolar may experience their life as a roller coaster of high and low emotions and this affects their daily route and life in general. Examples could be relationship breakdowns and affect work, the individual may have to take a lot of time of work due to depression, it may also make it harder for the individual to hold employment and this could lead and financial problems.
The manic phase can challenge the individual to become aggressive and could lead to further problems like the unnecessary use of alcohol and or recreational drugs and in some cases leading to inappropriate sexual behaviour
With some severe cases of depression, some individuals with bipolar disorder maybe affected with their ability to deal with everyday life. This can be either physical, emotional, or social functioning, which can lead the individual to experience psychotic symptoms for example, hallucinations, paranoia, or even hearing of voices in their head.
The individual may also be much unaware of the help and support they need to help combat the illness.
How can an individual’s Bipolar Disorder may affect others?
Bipolar disorder is a serious illness that not only affects the individual but those around them, such as family and friends – they could be affected in the following ways;
- Emotional distress – This can be things such as grief, guilt or worry and will cause disruption in the regular daily routines.
- Relationship breakdowns – this will cause tension if the individual is irritable as friends and family may become an easy target for their mood swing outbursts.
- The family and friends may feel on edge and worried on what mood they are in and whether they are approachable to have discussions or even accept any help that can be offered. It can also cause finance problems which affect the family and home, resulting in a breakdown.
- It can lead to disagreements where the individual suffering with bipolar disorder makes bad choices during their episodes and they are impossible to reason with.
Another factor in the way bipolar disorder may affect others is the lack of understanding of the illness. If family and friends have minimum understanding of the illness then they are going to become frustrated with the person and this could cause risky behaviour
What are the demands of daily life that may influence symptoms of Bipolar Disorder?
Individual suffering with bipolar disorder will experience different demands of normal daily life due to the different mood swings they may encounter.
Some demands of daily life that can influence symptoms could be:
This could influence bipolar and could also affect sleeping problems.
Stress or work problems;
Work demands and financial worries could influence this condition. Such as unemployment leading to debt problems and security such as housing poverty etc.
Problems in relationships;
This can be things such as, break down in marriage, bereavement or conflict and abuse
This can be community and social groups could encourage symptoms. Also, been in overcrowded groups or in poor environments. The daily life influence symptoms may also be having to care for elderly family members or even the stress of given birth