Bipolar Disorder is a mental health condition characterized by alternating manic and depressive episodes.
People with bipolar disorder have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, substance abuse, diabetes, suicide, and cognitive decline.
Treatments for bipolar disorder include trauma therapy, medication, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and self-care practices.
It is essential to seek prompt treatment for bipolar disorder to reduce the likelihood of health risks.
Bipolar Personality Disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a mental health condition that affects a person’s mood, energy, activity levels, and ability to function. This disorder affects people of all ages, ethnicities, and genders. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, bipolar disorder affects about 2.8% of American adults or approximately 5.7 million people.
What is Bipolar Disorder?
As stated earlier, bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that affects a person’s mood, energy levels, and ability to function. It is characterized by alternating periods of elation (manic episode) and depression (depressive episode).
During manic episodes, an individual may have increased energy, difficulty sleeping, racing thoughts, impulsive behaviors such as spending sprees, and an inflated sense of self-confidence. These symptoms can last up to several weeks or even months.
During depressive episodes, an individual may feel sad, hopeless, unmotivated, have difficulty concentrating, and think about death or suicide. These episodes can also last up to several weeks or even months.
Bipolar disorder can pose significant health risks if left untreated. It can also affect a person’s social, professional, and family life, making it essential to recognize the symptoms and seek treatment. Here are the health risks associated with bipolar disorder and what steps you can take to manage the condition.
Increased Risk of Heart Disease
People with bipolar disorder have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease than individuals without the condition. Several factors contribute to this risk, including poor lifestyle choices, obesity, smoking, and decreased physical activity. Additionally, the stress associated with living with bipolar disorder can cause inflammation and damage to the heart over time, increasing the risk of heart disease.
Risk of Substance Abuse
Individuals with bipolar disorder are more likely to develop substance abuse problems than those without the condition. The intense emotional highs and lows of bipolar disorder can lead to self-medication with drugs or alcohol, making a person more vulnerable to addiction. It is essential to seek prompt treatment for bipolar disorder to reduce the likelihood of substance abuse.
Increased Risk of Diabetes
People with bipolar disorder have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic medical condition that affects how your body processes glucose. The risk factors for developing diabetes include obesity, poor nutrition, and physical inactivity, common in individuals with bipolar disorder.
Risk of Suicide
Bipolar disorder increases the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors, particularly during the “manic” phase. The impulsiveness and reckless behavior associated with the manic phase can put individuals in high-risk situations, increasing their risk of self-harm. It is crucial to seek immediate medical attention if you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide or self-harm.
Increased Risk of Cognitive Decline
Research suggests that bipolar disorder may affect cognitive function and increase the risk of cognitive decline over time. The changes in the brain structure and function associated with bipolar disorder can lead to memory and concentration problems, making it challenging to perform daily tasks. Fortunately, early diagnosis and treatment can help manage these cognitive challenges.
Dealing With BPD
There are a variety of treatments available for bipolar disorder. Here are some of them:
Dealing With Trauma
Trauma is one of the leading triggers for bipolar disorder. Reliable trauma therapy can help people with bipolar disorder work through the underlying causes of their symptoms and learn healthy coping strategies to manage them. Furthermore, they can also learn to recognize and regulate their emotions more effectively.
Certain medications are available to treat the symptoms of bipolar disorder, such as mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, and antidepressants. Discussing the best course of treatment with a healthcare professional is essential to determine which medications are right for you.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT is a form of psychotherapy that helps people with bipolar disorder understand how their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors interact. It teaches them coping skills and healthier ways of thinking and acting. CBT can help individuals with bipolar disorder develop strategies to manage their symptoms and improve overall quality of life.
Finally, establishing healthy self-care practices is essential for managing bipolar disorder. This includes eating a balanced diet, engaging in regular physical activity, getting enough sleep, avoiding drugs and alcohol, and connecting with supportive family or friends. It is also important to take the time to do activities that bring you joy.
By following these tips and seeking professional help when needed, living a full and fulfilling life is possible while managing your bipolar disorder. With the right support system, recovery from bipolar disorder is achievable.