Treatments of bipolar disorder-Treatment for Manic Depression:
If you are someone experiencing extreme mood changes that disrupt your daily routine, you should always see a doctor. Your doctor will conduct a detailed physical exam and some lab tests, including urine and blood analysis to determine if these symptoms are not caused by any other medical condition.
Some medical issues such as thyroid may trigger symptoms that are similar to bipolar disorder. Some medication may have side effects that cause similar issues, once these issues are ruled out, your doctor will refer to you to a mental health specialist, a psychiatrist or psychologist.
How Mental health evaluation is conducted?
Once it is clear that the symptoms are not caused by other medical issue or medicines, a psychiatrist or psychologist will ask questions about symptoms, how you feel when they occur, how long they have occurred, and how they are disrupting your life. The medical professional will also ask about family history with mental disorder and any history of drug or alcohol abuse.
Bipolar disorder is a kind of mental illness where people tend to suffer with periods of mania and depression. To assess a patient for bipolar disorder at least one episode of depression and one mania or hypomania is required. The mental health specialist will ask the patient on how he feels before and after each episode.
Additionally, they would like to know, if you feel in control during the mania and how long these episodes last. They might acquire patient’s permission to ask family and friends on their behavior. They might take patient’s detail history and medications have taken in past.
To properly diagnose the diseases, doctors used the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (DSM). The DSM provides a detailed and technical description of bipolar and help doctors in assessing a patient for bipolar disorder.
How doctors assess mania in patient using DSM?
According to DSM, Mania is a, “distinct period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood.” The mania phase must last at least a week and must have at least three of the following symptoms.
- Rapid speech
- Less sleep
- High self-esteem
- Highly energetic in goals and activities
- Racing ideas
- Easily distracted
- Impulsive pursuit of activities without understanding the consequences
- Psychomotor agitation (hand writing, pacing, etc.)
How doctor’s asses’ depression episode in patients using DSM?
According to DSM, the major depressive episode must have at least four of the followings symptoms, they should be new or suddenly get worse, but last at least for two weeks.
- Changes in appetite, loss of sleep and weight
- Poor psychomotor activity
- Low energy levels
- Feeling of guilt and worthless with no reason
- Poor concentration, trouble thinking or decision making
- Suicidal thoughts, plans or even attempts.
Why bipolar disorder is often misdiagnosed?
Generally, people with bipolar disorder are misdiagnoses especially in its early stages (during the teenage years). When bipolar disorder is misdiagnosed as something else, it can get worst because it is treated with wrong treatment.
Another reason of misdiagnoses is inconsistency in episodes and behaviors, most people doesn’t seek treatment until they experience severe depression episode.
Bipolar disorder is often misdiagnosed as unipolar depression, OCD (Obsessive compulsive disorder), ADHD, anxiety and eating disorder. The mental condition shares many symptoms with other mental illnesses that is why it is often diagnosed. However, if a doctor is provided by detailed family history, mood disorder questionnaire and fast recurring episodes of depression, then he can assess and evaluate the patient with bipolar disorder timely.
Bipolar disorder is a serious mental health condition that can last for the life time. However, early diagnoses, thorough guideline and right treatment can save a person from severe depression episodes that leads to suicidal attempts. so, if you experience any of the above mentioned bipolar symptoms, make sure you assess yourself at-home for bipolar disorder by filling detailed questionnaire.