Bipolar disorder isn’t to be confused with simple mood swings.
Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that is characterised by dramatic mood swings, racing thoughts, and restlessness.
The condition was once-called “manic-depression” due the extreme mood swings between severe depression and elation, verging on euphoria, or mania. Sometimes people who are perceived to be “moody” are labelled by others as having Bipolar, however true Bipolar Disorder is a shift in the brains normal chemistry, which causes extreme and often devastating shifts in mood and behaviour and ultimately can have a huge impact on your life.
While medication is an important part of the treatment for Bipolar Disorder, psychology plays a crucial role too. A clinical psychologist can help you learn how to manage the symptoms and cope with behaviours that occur while manic or severely depressed.
There are several different types of bipolar disorder, and the type you’re diagnosed with often depends on your individual experience of mood changes, including how quickly you swing between different moods. The most important aspect to remember is that all types of bipolar disorder are treatable.
Facts about Bipolar Disorder:
Like most psychiatric disorders, the causes of bipolar disorder are complex and multifactorial. Whilst the exact cause of the condition is unknown, research indicates a genetic predisposition.
Did you know the of a bipolar disorder generally occurs in the late teens or early 20s and it is estimated that it affects one in 50 Australians.
Signs this might be a problem:
- – You have extreme moods that last for periods of days, weeks or months
- – Your mood seems unstable and out of sync with what’s going on in your life
- – You have irregular sleeping patterns
- – People often comment that you’re in a really high mood
- – At other times, you feel really low and depressed
When to seek professional support?
About one third of people who suffer from bipolar disorder have work or relationship difficulties due to the condition. Bipolar disorder doesn’t have to stop your life completely. There are ways to manage your unexpected and dramatic mood swings. You have a chance to get professional help.
If you suspect that you are suffering from bipolar disorder it is important to get treatment as soon as possible. Bipolar disorder can be hard to diagnose but it can be treated and managing it will be much easier if you get professional advice. It’s really worth visiting your GP for a consultation to discuss your concerns and seek a referral to a Clinical Psychologist for assessment.
What can I do right now to help?
- – You have the ability to change your life to become calmer and more in control with your emotional outbursts. You just need to be committed to the change.
- – Try to stick to a daily routine, includinghealthy sleep patterns.
- – Don’t make hasty decisions.
- – Let us help you change your life. Track your mood so you know when to get help. With our help and support we can enable you to overcome this condition and live an empowered life.
To find out more about this condition the APS Psychlopedia website provides a detailed explanation – Find it here