James felt at the moment a euphoric state with no explanation for the cause. He felt a spike in energy levels, and every task seemed easily conquerable. His focus was however, wavering and he did feel little restless. But still that didn’t seem as a concern. After all, he felt extremely excited, and that was more than enough.
Few hours later, James sank into a deep Depression. He felt isolated and his thoughts started getting disoriented. The world suddenly appeared in shades of grey, and the life ahead seemed hopeless. He contemplated suicide, as a way to end the nightmare.
The above scenario can seem confusing to us. It is completely strange that a person who, few moments before, in the peak of happiness suddenly drop down, into a negative spiral of thoughts. That too,without use of any drugs or mood enhancers.What James was experiencing can be coined in psychiatric terms, as Bipolar Disorder.
Bipolar Disorder is mainly characterized by two distinct phases. The affected person switches between these phases in rapid succession, usually in an hour or so.The First phase exhibits Hyper Activity
1. Intense sense of Euphoria.
3. Difficulty concentrating.
4. Grandiose sense of self worth.
5. Racing thoughts.
6. Prone to taking extreme risks, like gambling or raised sexual activities, all which involves low consciousness level.
7. Less amount of sleep, or insomnia.
Then few moments later, the person switches to the next phase, which is the Depression Mode.
1. Feeling sad, unworthy and hopeless. Crying uncontrollably due to these triggers.
2. Low energy, disinterested in activities or the job at hand
3. Less to more sleep, due to fatigue.
4. Decrease or increase in appetite.
5. Irritability attitude which can cause friends and families to question the reason, behind the sudden change.
6. Contemplating Suicide thoughts.
Bipolar disorder can be caused by certain triggers which the person gets exposed to, at present or earlier in life.
They include, but not limited to
1. Tension at work place or home environment.
2. Seasonal changes can also cause mood swings.
3. Traumatic life experiences like a failed love affair, unfulfilled desires or a childhood experience.
How to Identify and Treatment Methods
Why is this disorder mostly hidden, compared to anxiety or depression? It is because the affected person do not realize, that he is indeed suffering from a psychotic ailment.
Taking the case of James, as mentioned earlier. He still believes what he is experiencing, might be just the ups and downs of life. He considers the mood swings, just a continuation of the same. However if left untreated, Bipolar Disorder can escalate to clinical depression or even suicide attempts.
One diagnostic option would be to keep a track of the mood swings.
Keep a journal noting down the time of the mood swings, what happens during the same, and what triggers it.
With this method, we have identify the hidden pattern through which we can ascertain, whether there is a presence of this disorder, or is it just anxiety or panic attack.
If any doubts left or getting the feeling of suicidal thoughts, immediately consult your local physician, or a psychiatrist.
Anti depressant medicines and proper counselling can help a long way, in the recovery phase.
Source: Bipolar Disorder – Happy but Sad