Bipolar disorder is a condition in which a person's mental and emotional state can change very rapidly, going from one end of the spectrum to the other. Mood swings can travel like a pendulum going from extreme highs of happiness and joy to the lowest of lows that can send a person into the deepest pits of depression. The mood swings can be so erratic that the person's entire life is affected. Sleep patterns, eating, physical health, cognitive processes, and the ability to rationalize through difficult situations may all occur if the individual is not evaluated and the appropriate treatment plan put into place in a timely fashion. A person's disorder may be affected by specific, traumatic events in their life that have caused major changes to occur.
Possible treatment options for bipolar disorder can range from psychotherapy and counseling to cognitive behavioral therapy. Even mild forms of the disorder may require some form of medicinal support. Medications work to control the chemicals in the brain that dictate one's mood and overall behavior when it comes to their emotional state. Individuals with very mild cases often benefit from psychotherapy and support groups that allow people to share their coping mechanisms. It is important to receive medical treatment as soon as one begins to experience symptoms. For someone who has never experienced symptoms of the condition before, suddenly begin to show strong signs, tests may be recommended in an attempt to identify exposure to certain chemicals in the environment that may be causing an imbalance.
Bipolar disorder has a variety of symptoms depending on the severity of the condition. The most prominent symptoms are extreme mood swings ranging from severe depression to ultimate highs. Confusion and an inability to remain focused while working are also extremely common. The condition may worsen over time if treatment is not received in a timely fashion. If the condition advances, paranoia, and panic may also become a problem as one’s mental instability begins to affect other areas of cognitive processes. Before making a bipolar diagnosis, the doctor will perform a thorough mental health assessment to determine if other issues may be playing a role in a patient's behavior.
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