Formally defined as manic depression, bipolar disorder is a form of a major affective or a mood disorder that is usually characterized by manic or hypomanic episodes. These episodes cause a change in one’s normal mood accompanied by high energy states. Bipolar mania symptoms are often the result of the very serious bipolar disorder that plagues people. This bipolar mania can affect an individual for many days, which may include other symptoms like long-term sleeplessness, psychosis, hallucinations, paranoid rage, or superlative delusions. Moreover, research shows that depressive episodes may be more devastating and harder to treat in people who never have manias or hypomanias.
Bipolar disorder and mania
Thought to stem from a combination of genetic and non-genetic factors, bipolar disorder is a complex disorder. It is divided into two parts based on the severity: bipolar 1 and bipolar 2.
Bipolar 1 comprises mood episodes that are associated with clinical depression or mania. Mania refers to the condition of high energy and extreme elation with interspersed periods of normal mood and energy in between the episodes. The severity of the mood swings may range from very mild to extreme. They may develop over time or can occur very suddenly and unexpectedly. Rapid cycling is the process wherein discrete mood episodes occur over four or more times per year, and it should not be confused with very frequent moment-to-moment based changes in the mood. The latter often points towards bipolar disorder or another disorder known as the borderline personality disorder.
Patients with bipolar disorder may additionally have disturbances in thinking apart from or along with manic or depressive episodes. Impairment in social functioning and distortions of perception may also occur.
Causes of bipolar disorder
The causes of bipolar disorder, much like other mood disorders, are not known very well. The only concrete information available is that bipolar disorder involves the deregulation of brain functioning and may have a genetic component since it can run in families.
What is the common age range of people experiencing bipolar mania symptoms?
It is between the ages of 15 to 24 years that people tend to experience bipolar mania symptoms. The diagnosis of these bipolar mania symptoms may persist for a lifetime.
The bipolar mania symptoms are not observed in children or adults over the age of 65. The severity of these symptoms varies from person to person. Many people go through life with minimal symptoms or good capabilities to handle them, while others experience symptoms that may impair their ability to function normally in everyday life.
If left untreated, bipolar mania can result in high rates of recurrence and those with severe mania may even need to be hospitalized to prevent risky, self-damaging behavior.
People who fall into severe depression as a result of bipolar disorder need to be hospitalized to prevent them from acting on psychotic symptoms like hallucinations, disorganized thinking, delusions, and suicidal thoughts.
90 percent of the people with bipolar disorder 1 that includes mania experience at least one psychiatric hospitalization, since it is a more serious disorder. Two out three such people undergo two or more hospitalizations in their lifetime.
What are the primary bipolar mania symptoms?
The primary bipolar mania symptoms include:
– Racing, disconnected, panicked thoughts.
– Beliefs that are considered grandiose in normal life.
– Euphoria or elation that is inappropriate.
– Irritability that is irrational.
– Social behavior that is not appropriate.
– Increased sexual desire
– Speed or volume of speaking that is higher than normal.
– Hyper energy
– Lack of, or poor judgment.
– High energy that leads to decreased sleep.
Medicines for bipolar-related mania
Anybody suffering from bipolar mania needs appropriate medicines to bring it under control. Most doctors analyze the situation and prescribe medicines on the lines of mood stabilizers or antimanic medicines that help prevent and control mood swings, so the patient is less likely to indulge in risk-taking behavior like attempting suicide or other self-harming acts.
These medicines may have to be taken for a prescribed time or even indefinitely in some cases.
Anti-seizure drugs like valproate (Depakote), carbamazepine (Tegretol), and lamotrigine (Lamictal) are one option apart from the standard dose of lithium. The intake of these drugs requires very close medical examination and monitoring.
Lithium as a medicine for mania
Lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid) is the drug that has been studied and used for the longest time to treat bipolar disorder and mania. It has proven to help mania become rare and less severe, apart from preventing and relieving bipolar depression in people.
Studies also show that lithium can lower the risk of suicide among people who are suffering from bipolar disorder as well as preventing future manic episodes. It is usually prescribed as a long-term medicine in the form of maintenance therapy.
Some other treatments for bipolar-related mania when it gets too severe include hospitalization and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).
The doctor may increase or decrease doses, add or stop medicines, stop the anti-depressants, add an antipsychotic drug, etc. based on the severity of bipolar mania symptoms experienced.