BIPOLAR MOOD DISORDER (BMD)

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BMD is a disorder in which an individual experiences alternate cycles of mania and depression.

Depending on this, BMD is of two types

BMD-I -> The individual has one manic episode which can be followed or preceded by a major depressive episode or a hypomanic episode.

BMD-II -> The individual has one major depressive episode which can be preceded or followed by a hypomanic episode. There is no manic episode.

Symptoms of Manic Episode :

For the diagnosis of manic episode the individual must show some of the following symptoms for a duration of atleast a week, nearly every day and throughout the day :

1) Elevated or irritable mood

2) Excessive talking, high talks

3) Flight of ideas

4) Distractibility

5) Increased psycho-motor activity

6) Grandiosity

When an individual shows the above mentioned symptoms for a duration of atleast 4 consecutive days but less than a week, continuously everyday, then it is diagnosed as a ‘hypomanic episode’.

Symptoms of a Major Depressive Episode :

1) Sadness or low mood.

2) Hopelessness/worthlessness/Helplessness.

3) Reduced Psychomotor Activity/Psychomotor Agitation.

4) Loss of appetite, in some cases increased appetite.

5) Suicidal/self harm thoughts

6) Loneliness

7) Lack of attention and concentration

8) Lack of interest

9) Work impairment

10) Crying spells

11) Insomnia or hypersomnia

12) Memory impairment

Causes :

While the causes are unknown, individuals of a family history of BMD are more prone to developing BMD. Environmental factors like separation, divorce, death, etc. are likely to have a significant effect.

Treatment :

BMD is a chronic condition, but with proper medications and help, the severity of episodes can be controlled, and also the inter-episodic period can be increased.

The sad irony though is that mostly people come for help when one has a manic episode and the individual gets very aggressive and harmful. Most of the time a depressive episode goes unnoticed unless it is a major one. The main thing to remember is that BMD can be controlled to an extent with proper and regular medications.

          Vidhi Pipara Adolescent Psychologist – Guidance on personal or psychological problems in Ahmedabad,Gujarat and India.

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