You are bipolar? These are the keys to this often trivialized disorder

You are bipolar?  These are the keys to this often trivialized disorder

World Health Day is celebrated on March 30. Bipolar disordera perfect appointment to raise awareness about this pathology, too often trivialized, and about the importance of detecting and treating it to avoid serious consequences for those affected.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 40 million people worldwide suffer from this disorder which, like other mental illnesses, is still considered by some sectors to be of little importance and is usually trivialized. And it is that some associate a change of mood or an unstable character to being bipolar, ignoring that for those affected this pathology causes suffering and disability. Experts, on the contrary, warn of its effects.

And this disorder can cause sudden mood swings and without objective causes that justify it, extreme changes that go from a euphoric emotional state to episodes of depression. “It is especially cruel because it seriously affects sanity and the ability to interact socially, as well as causing sleep disorders and seriously influencing the ability to think,” highlights Enric Soler, associate professor of Psychology and Education at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya ( UOC). But what is true about bipolar disorders? Here are some of the false myths about them.

How do you know if you have bipolar disorder?

The experts make it clear: go from happy to sad in no time is not being bipolar. Everyone can go through several moods in the same day and, for this reason, experience positive and negative emotions in short periods of time. “These are emotions that go hand in hand with functional behaviors,” remarks Montserrat Lacalle, also a UOC associate professor of Psychology and Education.

Suffering from a disorder of this type implies having “manic, hypomanic or depressive episodes, to states that are not functional or healthy because the person’s suffering is very high and the behaviors of those who experience it are dysfunctional,” adds Lacalle, who recalls that someone affected by this disorder may have «problems in their daily development from day to day”.

In addition, when a manic moment occurs due to this disease, the affected person usually has an “abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, with ideas of omnipotence and invulnerability« that can sometimes be accompanied by irritability, warns Soler. In this sense, the UOC professor exemplifies moments of increased self-esteem, feelings of greatness, decreased need for sleep, verbiage or concentration difficulties are some of the ways out for these patients, who end up putting them at risk.

The teachers also stress that these symptoms occur without the use of drugs or medications. And, they point out, if an episode of depression appears, it ends up lasting for about two weeks, during which the mood is depressed for a good part of the day. Sadness, inner emptinessinability to feel pleasure, loss of weight or appetite, as well as insomnia, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, inability to concentrate and recurring thoughts of death may be some of the most frequent feelings.

Is it a serious pathology?

Undoubtedly, they stand out from the UOC, since it can have very serious consequences. For this reason, teachers regret that this pathology is often discussed superficially. It is a very suffering disorder, warns Soler, since, on the one hand, «invalidates capabilities to carry out the simplest activities of daily life” and, on the other, it ends up affecting relationships with your partner, family or at school.

In fact, adds Soler, this disorder is one of the diseases with the highest risk of suicide, “a great taboo that is not talked about.” Along the same lines, Lacalle recalls that this disorder cannot be cured, since, although all patients present it in their own way, “it is a chronic condition«. For this same reason, it is important to be able to be diagnosed and be treated to alleviate the symptoms and be able to lead as functional a life as possible.

He treatmentThus, it is key, and this does not only require drugs. The most prescribed are usually antipsychotics or antidepressants to stabilize mood, but along with this, the most effective is good psychotherapy and also education, both for the patients themselves and their families, to be able to identify symptoms that appear before a phase manic or depressive, have an impact from the UOC.


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