What is Bipolar Disorder
Published on Friday, August 5th, 2011 at 12:07 pm and is filed under Mental Disorders
Bipolar disorder (previously – manic-depressive illness) – a disorder characterized by recurrent (at least two) episodes in which mood and activity level significantly are affected. Moreover, in some cases, there is mood elevation, increased mental and physical activity (mania or hypomania), in others depressed mood, decreased energy and activity (depression), as well as the mixed state in which the patient has symptoms of depression and mania at the same time (eg , longing to overexcitement, anxiety, or euphoria with inhibition – the so-called unproductive mania), or rapid change of symptoms (hypo) mania and (sub) depression.
Due to the different understanding of the boundaries of mental disorder, the prevalence of figures vary with an average of about 1%.
What Causes Bipolar Disorder:
The etiology of bipolar disorder to date is not clear. A significant role in this process play of heredity, since the probability of disease is higher if there is at one of the family members. Genetic studies indicate a relationship between these disorders with several genes, presumably located in chromosomes 18 and 4. In addition to genetic causes of disease is due to autointoxication (disorders of the endocrine balance, violations of water-electrolyte metabolism).
Stressful situations can trigger an episode of mania or depression in individuals prone to this condition. At the same time, the stress does not cause disease.
Pathogenesis (what’s going on?) During Bipolar affective disorder:
The first episode often occurs at a young age – 20-30 years old, but not be cases of the disease at any age, from childhood through old age. Subsequent episodes occur periodically in the form of the phases, either directly or through the “light” periods (the so-called interphase or intermissions).
The incidence and nature of remissions and relapses are very diverse. The disorder can manifest itself only by manic, hypomanic, or just depressive phases only or whether they change with the alternation of right or wrong. Remission is usually shorter with age, and depression become more frequent and longer after middle age.
Variants of the course of bipolar affective disorder:
periodic mania – manic phase alternating only;
periodic depression – depressive phase only alternate;
right-type alternating current – a “bright” period of manic phase is replaced by the depressive, depressive – manic;
wrong-type alternating current – a “bright” period of manic and depressive phases alternates without strict priority (after the manic phase can start again manic and vice versa);
double form – direct replacement of the two opposite phases, followed by a “light” period;
circular type of flow – not “bright” intervals.
The most frequent types of trends: wrong-type intermittent and periodic depression.
Manic episodes usually begin suddenly and last from 2 weeks to 4-5 months (mean duration of episodes about 4 months). Depression tend to be more prolonged flow (average about 6 months), although it is noted also the duration of a year (excluding the elderly patients). Both episodes often follow stressful events or trauma, although their presence is not required for diagnosis.
Duration of phases varies from several weeks up to 1.5-2 years (mean 3-7 months), duration of “light” periods (intermissions or interphases) between the phases can be from 3 to 7 years, “light” period may be entirely absent.