Facts about Bipolar Disorder

Mar 18, 2014, 09:40 IST | Kanika Sharma

Actor-dancer Chris Brown had first hit the headlines for his aggressive behaviour towards the famous singer and former partner, Rihanna. Recently diagnosed as a Bipolar Disorder patient, we look closer at this painful mania that is still considered a taboo in India

For your loved one
Become Sherlock Holmes: Psycho-educate yourselves on what is exactly happening. Meet a psychiatrist or a clinical psychologist and get more insights on the disorder. 

Become a member of a support group: Join the support group as this provides strength and ability to fight the disorder.

Never give up doctor’s follow-up: Once the patient is medically diagnosed as suffering from Bipolar Disorder, it is very important to visit the doctor. Taking prescribed medication and suggested treatment regularly will significantly help in improving mood swings, and help the patient in living a normal life.

Inputs: Dr Ambereen Pradhan

Possible treatment
Treatment depends on various factors like what stage he/she is brought for treatment, previous episodes, nature of the current episode: depressive or manic.
Mood stabilisers are important and work as main medicines to treat and prevent further manic episodes.
>> Antidepressants and antipsychotics/sedatives may also be required to control the current episode, if needed.
>> In case of drug-resistant patients, magnetic stimulation is another way.
>> The challenge remains to get the patient to agree to take the medicines as he/she may refuse treatment saying that there’s nothing wrong.

Inputs: Dr Anjali Chhabria

A-listers with Bipolar
>> Vincent van Gogh
>> Napoleon Bonaparte
>> Elvis Presley
>> Ludwig van Beethoven
>> Jim Carrey
>> Ben Stiller
>> Catherine
>> eta-Jones
>> Winston Churchill
>> Mark Twain

What is Bipolar?
Bipolar Disorder is “a mood disorder in which the individual undergoes extreme phases of depression or mania or both,” says Dr Anjali Chhabria. It is a chemical imbalance that causes extreme mood swings. Dr Ambereen Pradhan adds, “Such patients find it difficult to enjoy life. These mood swings may be extreme responses to external events too.”

Case Study
Thirty-two-year-OLD Anita has been working in a private company for a year. Since the last six years, she has changed five jobs and has been irregular and inconsistent in her work. Her initial impression is always great; people love her for her hard work, passion and dedication. But after a few months, they see a totally different side where she is absent from work, lacking motivation and losing focus. She comes from a single-parent family. She lost her mother when she was 20 years’ old. Her parents didn’t share good relations; her mother was in depression for most of her life. Losing her mother at an early age impacted her hugely. On the social front, Anita has two close friends who have known her since school. They say that she is like a split personality. There are months when they don’t hear from her, and there are phases when she wants to hang out with them. 

She also had a tendency to get into relationships too soon. Her boyfriends found her impulsive, dramatic, and aggressive. There was a time when she got suicidal and tried to slit her wrist because her boyfriend wouldn’t answer her calls. She goes through severe phases of depression and it’s impossible to handle her during such times. She doesn’t eat, or talk to anyone, cries for hours and gets very agitated when consoled. In her good times, she would go blow up her on shopping and socialising, daily. The two phases make most people feel that it’s not the same person.
Inputs: Dr Anjali Chhabria

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