Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

One of the most common misconceptions is that changing moods changes several times a day means having bipolar. However, that is not the case, this behavior is called being a lunatic. These mood fluctuations in the same day have nothing to do with bipolar disorder.

Simply put, bipolar disorder is a mental health condition, the evolution of which is periodic and/or episodic. Meaning that there is a succession of depressive and manic episodes separated by free intervals. That is why it used to be called “manic depressive disorder”.

When To Diagnose Someone With Bipolar Disorder

There are several types of Bipolar Disorder. That it is why important to study a patient and their symptoms before making a diagnosis. The main types of bipolar disorder are type I, type II, and Cyclothymia.

To diagnose a patient with bipolar disorder type I, the patient must at least have experienced one manic episode that lasted over one week. Even if the said patient did not experience any depressive episodes. Once the patient exhibits a single manic episode, it is possible to diagnose them with bipolar disorder type I.

As for bipolar disorder type II, the patient must at least have experienced one severe depressive episode and one hypomanic episode. Contrary to type I, the manic episode does not have to be severe. It might even go unnoticed. however, the patient should exhibit a severe depressive episode.

In most cases, someone who has bipolar disorder first experiences depressive episodes which often hinders diagnosis. If the manic episode is quickly diagnosed and treated, the patient could quickly get rid of it in a matter of weeks or days. However, if left untreated, it could last up to 6 months. As for the depressive phase, if left untreated for long, it could take up to a year to treat it after diagnosis.

In order to diagnose a patient with cyclothymia, in the period of two years, the patient must experience at an episode of mild depression and episode of hypomania. Cyclothymia symptoms are not as severe as those of bipolar disorder types I and II. Regardless, and despite the mildness of its symptoms, cyclothymia affects the patient and their lives.   

What Should You Know About Bipolar Disorder?

For starters, this disorder is a transposition between a depressive episode and a manic episode. However, unlike people who suffer from depression, the bipolar depressive phase can be a little more severe, but the symptoms remain the same.

  • Bipolar disorder affects 1-2% of the world population, roughly around 45 million people, aged 17-40 years old. However, people are less likely to present bipolar symptoms after the age of 40.
  • This illness could be hereditary. People who have parents with bipolar disorder are more likely to also have it compared to someone whose parents do not have bipolar disorder.
  • It is important to understand that bipolar disorder affects both men and women alike and that it’s a psychiatric urgency that should be taken care of when the symptoms first present themselves.

The stigma Against People Diagnosed With Bipolar Disorder

Many people believe that someone who has bipolar disorder cannot have a stable social life, have a normal job, a family, etc. “This is WRONG,” Dr. Rym explains.

“Thankfully, this disorder responds very well with the right medication, and thanks to science, the patient is able to live a completely normal life with the proper medical treatment and psychological evaluation.”

Dr. Rym – Slamet Rassek Podcast (@dr.redpeppermint)

It is true that a bipolar patient must take long-term medication, however, the latter will not come in the way of their social and daily lives.

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