World Bipolar Day: How to tell if someone is bipolar
In order to foster acceptance, it is important to know what exactly happens to a person with bipolar disorder. dr Shambhavi Jaiman, MD, MD, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram, explains that bipolar disorder is a psychiatric health problem characterized by someone having two poles in their mood – episodes of depressive lows and manic highs.
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
dr Jaiman goes into detail about the symptoms one can experience in a depressive episode of Bipolar.
“One has a bad mood, decreased interest in activities, decreased energy levels, feels more tired, less interaction, when feeling depressed, does not want to initiate conversations or activities, has many dysfunctions in his life related to his professional and personal life , negative thoughts about yourself and others,” she explains.
Also, she talks about the signs associated with the manic episode.
“The other pole of bipolarity would be a manic episode, in which it would be more or less the opposite of depression, in which they would have an inflated sense of self, they would value them highly, they would have elevated energy levels, they would have decreased sleep needs and mood will either be very happy, cheerful, euphoric, or irritable and angry and aggressive,” adds Dr. Jaiman.
Diagnosis of bipolar disorder
The psychiatrist explains how a patient is diagnosed: “So if someone has a depressive episode followed by a manic episode or vice versa, we can say that that person has bipolar disorder. We usually have to ask about the family history too, because that gives an idea of if they’re prone to developing bipolar disorder because it’s something genetic.”
“Also the way they speak, how they dress, how they express their thoughts and feelings is an indication of what we need to focus on, what the possible diagnosis could be and then we can identify them and they too.” to a psychotherapist to help them,” she adds.
How to help someone with bipolar disorder?
dr Jaiman explains, “Well, if you have bipolar disorder, the treatment that you can give him or how you can help him when he’s struggling with bipolar disorder is to get him to see a psychiatrist, which is very, very important. You should never diagnose someone with bipolar disorder until and unless you have a proper history of them and the diagnosis can only be made by a mental health professional – a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist.
Treatment of bipolar disorder
When it comes to treatment, doctors first assess the patient’s bipolar phase to determine if pharmacotherapy and/or psychotherapy is needed.
dr Jaiman explains: “Treatment would involve a comprehensive medical history to understand what phase of bipolarity they are in. Are you in a manic episode? Are you in a depressive episode? do we need medicine? Do we need mood stabilizers? Do we need antidepressants or antipsychotics or do we need more psychotherapy and at what stage do we need to start psychotherapy?”
“If someone has a significant amount of dysfunction that has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, early-stage therapy or psychotherapy may not be the right avenue for treatment. They would need medication and pharmacotherapy followed by psychotherapy when they are a little more stable and in a state to understand that we are experiencing this so we can take care of ourselves and so we must continue to not have these types of problems in the future to have more,” she signed.