MAJOR DEPRESSIVE DISORDER OR BIPOLAR DISORDER

Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder having both mania and depressionand involves extreme changes in mood from high (manic) to low (depressive), or mixed episodes and then back again with periods of normal mood in between. Some may only display signs of  mania. Themood swings are unpredictable.

Women of 20 to 30 years of age are more prone to have bipolar disorder and they are likely to present with depression where as men of the same age group are more likely to have manic episodes over the life time. Men and women equally suffer with bipolar disorder. This disorder tends to run in families.

Depressive episodes are similar as seen in Unipolar depression.

Mania is distinct period of abnormal and persistently elevated, excitable and irritable mood. Episode of Mania is characterized by:

  • Distractibility – Short attention span.
  • Insomnia – Decreased need for sleep.
  • Grandiosity – Feeling of self- importance.
  • Flight of ideas – Racing thoughts.
  • Psychomotor Agitation – increase in goal directed activity
  • Pressured Speech – increasingly talkative with unnecessary excessive emphasis.
  • Thoughtlessness – engaging in pleasurable activities that have high possibility of untoward consequences (excessive spending sprees, foolish investments, sexual misdemeanor)

Severe forms of mania might be associated with firm persistent false beliefs (delusion) that can’t be shaken, in spite of substantial and obvious proof against it.  In fact, the person is said to have develop persecutory delusions (feelings of suspicion, persecution).