Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder is characterized by sudden shifts in mood and behavioral changes. The symptoms may turn out to be so severe that they hamper the person’s normal day-to-day life. Damaged personal relationships, poor academic or job performances, and sometimes even suicide are the outcomes. But the good news is that, bipolar disorder can be treated, though it may take a bit long. The patient can come out of the dark tunnel and lead full and productive lives.


The patients who suffer from Bipolar Disorder have mood episodes that are marked by intense joyful state, which are known as the manic episodes, and utterly hopeless and gloomy states known as the depressive episodes. People who suffer from bipolar disorder remain very irritable during his/her mood episodes. During this time, extreme changes are noted in the energy level, activity patterns, behavior, and sleep habits of the individual. In some cases, the patients suffer from long-lasting periods of unstable mood rather than differently discrete periods of mania and depression. The symptoms can be sometimes so severe that the person has acute problems to function socially.

The patients who are already suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and social phobia are more vulnerable to bipolar disorder and vice versa.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is often found to co-occur with bipolar disorder. The symptoms are restlessness and being distracted very easily.

People suffering from bipolar disorder are prone to thyroid disease, migraine headaches, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and similar other illnesses. Sometimes, these diseases show symptoms of mania and depression.

People with bipolar disorder should keep a check on their physical and mental health at regular intervals. If the symptoms are turning acute, they must visit their doctor immediately.

Why does it Happen

There is not a single cause behind bipolar disorder, but the disease can be profoundly explained as a disorder that happens due to the combined effects of biologic, genetic, and environmental factors. Some of the biological causes of bipolar disorder are:

  • The over-secretion of cortisol, which is a stress hormone.
  • Too much of influx of calcium into the cells of the brain.
  • Hyperactivity in the brain with emotion and movement and very slow activity pattern in the brain-parts that are associated with concentration, attention and judgment of situations.
  • Abnormal hyper-functioning of the supra chiasmatic nucleus or SCN in the hypothalamus of the brain.


There is no way to prevent the onset of bipolar disorder. If a person has already suffered from mania or depression, he should stay on medication as prescribed by his doctor until the symptoms fully subside. It is better to contact your doctor as soon as possible, if you trace the symptoms of bipolar disorder. This can prevent the situation from turning worse.

However, if you are suffering from depressive or manic mood episodes, you should:

  • Always have a balanced diet.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Avoid travelling to other time zones.
  • Get adequate relaxation and sleep.
  • Avoid alcohol, nicotine and caffeine.
  • Reduce stress 
  • Seek treatment as soon as possible.


There is no cure for bipolar disorder once it sets in, but proper medication can help people take better control of their mood swings and life, and thus help them gain back almost their normal mental health. It is a recurrent illness, and the patient has to take a long-term medication for the disorder. Proper psychotherapy and medication can reduce the severity of the symptoms and prevent relapsing.