How do you calm a bipolar person?

 How do you calm a bipolar person?

In 2017, 197.3 million people in India suffered from psychiatric illnesses, including 45.7 million with depressive disorders and 44.9 million with anxiety disorders. According to studies, there is an important, but minor, the link between the incidence of depressive illness and the suicide mortality rate at the state level for both males and females. Mental illnesses increased their share of overall disability-adjusted life years in India from 2.5% in 1990 to 4.7%in 2017. In 2017, depressive conditions accounted for 33.8% of overall psychiatric disorders disability-adjusted life years, followed by anxiety disorders (19%), idiopathic cognitive learning disability (10.8%), schizophrenia (9.8%), bipolar disorder (6.9%), behavioural disorder (5.9%), autism spectrum disorders (3.2%), eating disorders (2.2%), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (0.3%), other emotional illnesses accounted for 8.0% disability-adjusted life years.

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Although certain mental illnesses, such as autism, develop spontaneously, most are caused by brain damage or other accidents. Any mental condition can be frightening for those who suffer from it. Such is Bipolar disorder. 

Bipolar Disorder is a neurological disorder characterized by fluctuations in a person's mood, energy, and capacity to cope. People with bipolar disorder undergo extreme emotional states that usually develop over a span of days or weeks, which is referred to as a mood episode. These mood swings are classified as manic/hypomanic (excessively cheerful or anxious mood) or depressed (sad mood). Bipolar people also experience episodes of neutral mood. When treated properly, people with bipolar disorder can lead healthy and productive lives. Furthermore, these changes are not often accompanied by the severe degree of behavioural adjustment or trouble with everyday activities and social relationships that individuals with bipolar disorder exhibit during mood episodes. 

Do you want to support a buddy or family member suffering from Bipolar Disorder? That's a wonderful thought but before you can figure out how to handle them, you'll need to grasp what Bipolar Disorder is.

Bipolar depression is generally carried by the families: 80% to 90% of those with bipolar disorder have a relative that either has bipolar disorder or depression. Environmental conditions such as stress, sleep disturbance, and drugs and alcohol can all cause mood episodes in people who are fragile. Though the precise causes of bipolar disorder within the brain are unknown, it is suspected that an excess of brain chemicals leads to dysregulated brain function. The average occurrence age is 25 years old.

Bipolar disorder is an umbrella term for three distinct diagnoses: bipolar I, bipolar II, and cyclothymic disorder. 

  1. Bipolar Disorder I :

When an individual has a manic episode, he or she is diagnosed with bipolar I disorder. During a manic episode, people with bipolar I disorder have an unusually high level of motivation and can feel on top of the universe or unbearably irritable. Any individuals with bipolar I disorder have depressive or hypomanic episodes, while the majority of people with bipolar I disorder have periods of neutral mood. People with bipolar I disorder are most likely to have anxiety problems, drug abuse disorders, and/or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Suicide is slightly more common in people with bipolar I disorder than in the general population.

  1. Bipolar Disorder II:

A person with bipolar II disorder must have at least one major depressive episode and at least one hypomanic episode. Between series, people resume a normal life. People with bipolar II disorder often seek treatment after their first depressive episode, because hypomanic episodes can be pleasurable and even improve performance at work or school. People with bipolar II disorder are more likely to experience other psychiatric diseases, such as anxiety or drug abuse disorders, which may worsen signs of depression or hypomania.

  1. Cyclothymic Disorder:

Cyclothymic disorder is a milder type of bipolar disorder characterized by frequent "mood swings" and hypomania and depressive symptoms. Cyclothymia is characterized by depressive ups and downs but has fewer extreme signs than bipolar I or II disorder.

Symptoms of the cyclothymic disorder include the aforementioned:

1. Several episodes with hypomanic and depressive symptoms for at least two years, but the symptoms may not match the criterion for a hypomanic or depressive episode.

2. The effects (mood swings) continue at least half the time during the two-year cycle and never cease for longer than two months.

After you’ve understood what Bipolar Disorder is, let’s look at the symptoms of a manic episode so that you know when to help.

Some common symptoms of a manic episode include:

  • An unusually optimistic attitude

  • Extremely irritable

  • Unreasonable (usually grand) beliefs about one's own abilities or strength — they may criticize spouses or family and friends for not being as "achieved" as they expect themselves to be.

  • Overflowing energy

  • Racing thoughts that spring between different ideas

  • Getting distracted quickly 

  • Having troubles concentrating

  • Impulsiveness and poor judgment

  • Reckless behaviour with no thought about consequences

  • Delusions and hallucinations (Rare)

Some common symptoms of a depressive episode include:

  • Sadness, hopelessness, and emptiness

  • Irritability

  • Inability to take pleasure in activities

  • Fatigue

  • Lethargy

  • Changes in weight or appetite

  • Problems with sleep

  • Problems focusing or remembering things

  • Feelings of worthlessness

  • Guilt

  • Suicidal thoughts

Now that you know what the symptoms are, let's look at what you can do to help them get through their episodes:

  1. Educate Yourself:

Learn about bipolar disorder. Find out as much as you can about the signs and healing plans. The more you understand bipolar disorder, the more prepared you will be to support your loved one and put things in balance.

  1. Encourage:

Encourage them to seek professional help. The earlier bipolar disorder is handled, the greater the prognosis, so encourage your loved one to obtain psychiatric assistance as soon as possible. Don't wait to see if they'll do better on their own.

  1. Listen:

It is not always necessary to provide responses or recommendations in order to be supportive. In reality, being a good listener is one of the most important things you can do with someone with bipolar disorder, particularly when they want to speak to you about their problems.

  1. Understand:

Let your friend or family member know you're available if they ever need a listening ear, support, or recovery assistance. People with bipolar disorder are also unable to seek assistance because they don't want to be a liability to others, so reassure the individual that you care and will do all you can to help them.

  1. Patience:

Even when a person is engaged in therapy, recovery takes time. Expect not a fast recovery nor a lasting cure. Be vigilant with the treatment process and be prepared for delays and difficulties. Bipolar disorder recovery is a lifelong cycle.

Always remember that people with bipolar disorder cope well when they have the love of family and friends. They heal faster, have fewer psychotic and depressive attacks, and have fewer complications.

However, things can get out of control at times. There might be serious episodes that cannot be managed alone. In these cases, you must get emergency medical attention from their doctors, and in certain cases, you will be required to hospitalize them in order to protect yourself from any aggressive attacks that the individual may perpetrate. 

Some signs of an emergency include:

  • Violent behaviour

  • Threatening speech

  • Suicidal speech or actions

  • Talking about death

Be alert, listen, pay attention to their gestures and behaviour, and be supportive of their health. If you are worried about how the episode is progressing, contact the doctor right away.

When it comes to mental health problems, there isn't much you can do to save someone who is struggling. All you can do is be there for them and avoid phrases like "It's all in your mind" or "Just be happy." Until then, Goodluck!


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