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Bipolar disorder, what is it, and how can it help those who suffer from it?
Bipolar disorder is a mental condition that is generated through mood swings ranging from pole, from depression to mania over extended periods of time.
It is a chronic pathology that can affect many aspects of the life of both the person who suffers it and their friends and family.
However, it is possible to maintain normal performance with adequate pharmacological control, psychotherapy, and with family and friends as a support network.
There are many stigmas around bipolarity, so it is common that it is not diagnosed in its early stages, here we will teach you a little more about what it is about and about those popular misconceptions about it.
What is bipolar disorder?
It is a mental disorder that is characterized by the alternation of prolonged and intense cycles of mood that affect the functionality of those who suffer from it.
These changes occur gradually and are maintained over several months, which results in great discomfort in this regard, and can pose a danger to the same person.
Mood changes occur based on two poles, the depressive and the manic, let's learn more about these:
High increase in energy levels, activity, restlessness, thoughts and accelerated speech are evident.
Rejection of the idea or comment that there is a problem with their behavior.
Feelings of happiness above any comment or circumstance.
Changes in the sleep cycle.
Belief of having fantastic abilities or powers.
Exaggerated feelings of self-confidence, exaggerated optimism.
Alteration in judgment and decision-making.
Persistent feelings of sadness and loneliness.
Pessimism and hopelessness.
Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, and helplessness.
Loss of pleasure in activities you used to enjoy.
Lack of energy, fatigue.
Loss of appetite
Thoughts about suicide or death.
How to help a bipolar person?
Family and friends are a very important part of the process necessary for people with bipolar disorder to improve and avoid relapses.
An environment of understanding and support are essential for normal development, so it is important that you can:
1. Encourage acceptance of the disorder
Bipolarity is a chronic disease without a cure, however it is possible to have a good and functional life with this disorder, so helping to accept that it is part of who it is will empower the person to seek help and identify their changes.
2. Understand mood disturbances
Not judging is very important to be able to be supportive in times of crisis, these behaviors respond to a pathology, they are not voluntary.
3. Recognize the indicators
This will allow you to know when the person is about to change polarity, and to anticipate relapses in order to prevent them.
4. Monitor medications
This is necessary and a great support for people with bipolarity, since sometimes they can feel very good and forget that these are a vital part and cannot be left aside.
5. Spend quality time
Sometimes people with this pathology isolate themselves from others, so it is very beneficial that you share quality time and help them relate, remember that these changes in attitudes are due to the same disorder, and it is not something personal towards you.
Removing myths about bipolarity
It is very common to hear that someone is "bipolar" in everyday conversation referring to being upset about something that does not make sense to the other person.
However, these types of conversations only obscure the conception of what bipolarity is and implies.
Bipolarity is not just mood swings, it is a complex pathology with specific symptoms like the ones we described earlier.
Bipolar people are not volatile monsters, attitude changes are a consequence of the same pathology, if people with bipolarity follow their treatment and attend therapy they are capable of having a life as normal as the rest.
Let's be part of the change to reduce the stigmas around mental illness, a good way to start is to use the terms correctly and accept that bipolarity exists, is common and does not imply less value in the people who suffer from it.