Thursday, June 1, 2023

Five stories about bipolarity | 27/03/2023 – 09:32h.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 40 million people suffer from bipolar disorder, a pathology that, if left untreated, can have very serious consequences. As Enric Soler, cooperating professor of the Department of Psychology and Education Sciences of the Universität Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) explains, this disorder causes sudden moods without objective reasons to justify, extreme changes from a euphoric state of emotions to episodes of depression. And it is “especially cruel that it seriously affects health and social ability, and also causes sleep disturbances and seriously influences the ability to think.”

However, according to experts, it is serious for very mild mental disorders. So much so that a large part of society associates it with simple leads or unstable characters, not knowing the pain this pathology entails, which is one of the main causes of vices all over the world.

Here are some false myths about bipolar disorder;

  • Anyone who goes from joy to sadness in a short time is bipolar. As experts advise, during the day anyone can go through different methods. However, experiencing positive and negative emotions in short periods of time is not the same as having bipolar disorder. This disorder involves manic or hypomanic and depressive episodes.
  • “In today’s day, we can fluctuate between sadness and joy; they are healthy emotions that are connected to responsible behavior, which means that our daily performance is not seriously affected by these negative emotions”, explains Montserrat Lacalle. cooperating professor in the Psychology and Educational Sciences Department at the UOC. “On the other hand, when we talk about bipolar disorder, we talk about going from mania or hypomania to depression, it states that it is neither functional nor healthy because the pain of the person is very high and the behaviors of those who experience them are present. There are difficulties in the daily development day by day. Furthermore, the change between these episodes does not occur in hours and is not driven by easily identifiable causes, as it can happen day by day in a healthy person.

    There are different degrees of bipolar disorder. Bipolar I disorder causes at least one manic episode important enough to interrupt normal daily life and several depressive episodes with some specific reason, recalls Enric Soler. Bipolar II disorder with more severe depressive episodes and occasional manic episodes. Cyclothymic disorder, on the other hand, is characterized by pain symptoms less lasting and intense than hypomanic and depressive episodes, but over a long period of time (between one and two years).

  • The states are euphoric moments of genius. One of the characteristics of bipolar disorder is that it causes the aforementioned manic or hypomanic episodes, which a large part of society associates with states of temper and positivism. But the matter is different. The manic symptoms consist of “enormously and constantly high, expansive, expansive, with ideas of omnipotence and invulnerability, which manifests itself most of the day at least for a week and can also be accompanied by irritability”, explains Enric Soler.
  • “Those who suffer from it have an increase in self-esteem, feelings of greatness, a reduced need for sleep, talkativeness, a sense of thoughts going at high speed, flight of ideas, joint difficulties, goal-directed hyperactivity (social work, sexual, etc.), compulsive purchases and unbridled sprees that in they are subject to risk or excessive investment,” explains the UOC associate professor. In addition, he adds that these symptoms occur without the consumption of drugs or drugs naturally.

    The difference in the hypomanic stages is that they manifest all of them in a shorter time, which is the maximum, four days, and not all can be done, but at least four. This is, of course, a kind of lighter-handed thing, but also the daily life of the one who suffers it, has passed through great feelings of guilt since Easter.

    About episodes of depression that are practiced by manics, they are known because they manifest over a period of two weeks. During this period “the state of mind is depressed most of the day, almost every day, with feelings of sadness, inner emptiness, inability to feel pleasure, weight loss without an objective reason that justifies it, hunger, insomnia or hypersomnia., agitation or retardation of psychomotor by others (without subjective experience), languor, feelings of uselessness or excessive guilt, almost delirious, “explains Soler. The inability to focus and frequent thoughts of death, suicide attempts or the existence of a plan to complete it are frequent.

  • It is not a serious pathology. One of the most surprising reasons for experts is that, as a pathology that can have very serious consequences, it is spoken about superficially, associating it with narcissistic or controlling people. Bipolar disorder, as Enric Soler mentions, is one of the mental disorders that cause the most suffering from it, because “it disables their ability to carry out the simplest activities of daily life.”
  • In addition, it is common for people with bipolar disorder to have damaged relationships and find it difficult for them to maintain work or family life. “Symptoms that work can be very powerful in family or partner relationships, in academic failure and in the inability to maintain a job,” he says. In fact, one of the diseases with the highest risk of suicide is “a great taboo that is not disseminated. A society that does not take care of its mental health is a sick society. It does not happen that in Spain the suicide rate is alarm way,’ says Soler.

  • It can be treated. Although, as Monserrat Lacalle explains, not all patients present this pathology in the same way, “it is true that it is a long-term condition. The patient is not cured of this diagnosis,” he warns. However, the symptoms that are present can be alleviated with treatment and life can be as normal as possible. Whether or not you can lead a functional life depends on this treatment, and according to the type of bipolar disorder that they suffer from – since there are great differences between affected people in terms of the frequency of changes of state between manic or hypomanic and depressive.
  • It is treated only with drugs. As experts explain, bipolar disorder is treated with mood-stabilizing psychotropic drugs, antipsychotics, antidepressants and/or antipsychotic antidepressants, whose goal is to stabilize mood. “Medicine can be different depending on the problem of each patient and the level to which it is needed,” remembers Montserrat Lacalle. “But all this must be combined with psychotherapy. Psychological therapy is essential. In addition, in some cases, there is also psychoeducation of the patients themselves and their families, so that they know to recognize the signs that appear before the manic or depressive phase,” points out the collaborating professor at the UOC.
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