If you’re feeling up and down…

◇ Bipolar disorder (manic depression) refers to a mental disorder in which depressed or excited moods persist. *Source = shutterstock

As you live, there are times when you encounter a person whose mood changes drastically around you. In the morning, a person who seemed to be in a good mood may complain of depression in the evening as if it had never happened.

If you repeat these rapid ‘up and down’ is called manic depression. Because bipolar disorder is related to emotional ups and downs, there is an opinion that it can be solved simply by making up your mind, but this is not a fundamental treatment plan.

How should bipolar disorder be accepted and treated? Professor Park Won-myeong of the Department of Mental Health at Yeouido St. Mary’s Hospital revealed the various aspects of bipolar disorder in an interview with Health Chosun.

◇ There is a difference from simple depression

Manic depression is scientifically referred to as bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder refers to a mental disorder in which depressed or elevated moods persist for a considerable period of time.

Professor Park explained that the symptoms differ from person to person, noting that some people with bipolar disorder develop depression first, while others show mania first.

Common depression corresponds to ‘unipolar depression’. When the symptoms worsen, unipolar depression only falls into depression, but the depression of bipolar disorder sometimes turns into depression or mania.

Unipolar depression is accompanied by symptoms such as anxiety, nervousness, and loss of appetite. However, bipolar depression is characterized by sleeping too much or eating too much, which can later lead to mania.

Exacerbation of normal depression or mania, such as unipolar depression, does not lead to bipolar depression. Professor Park added that depression is a disease with large individual differences, so it is possible for depression to recur and later to manifest mania.

If you feel excited for more than 1 week or depressed for more than 2 weeks, you should suspect bipolar disorder. *Source = shutterstock

◇ Must be distinguished from simple emotional ups and downs

Professor Park explained how to differentiate between bipolar disorder and simple mood swings. The part he focused on was ‘duration’ and ‘severity’.

If the high mood lasts more than 1 week or the depression lasts more than 2 weeks, these are important symptoms to suspect bipolar disorder.

Professor Park said, “Even when you feel high for no reason for 2 to 3 days, you should keep a close eye on it because it could be mania that occurs in bipolar disorder.”

He mentioned that bipolar disorder cannot be diagnosed with only symptoms of a day or two, but can be diagnosed when mania lasts for more than one week and depression lasts for more than two weeks.

◇ Medication is more effective than counseling

The most common treatment for bipolar disorder is medication. Unlike other mental illnesses, bipolar disorder is caused by the secretion of neurotransmitters in the brain, so drug treatment aims to solve it.

In the case of depression, antidepressants are used to escape depression, and in the case of mania, antimanic drugs are used, but bipolar disorder cannot use only one drug.

Since the main purpose of treatment for bipolar disorder is to control emotions that run to both extremes, mood stabilizers are mainly used for treatment.

Professor Park mentioned that bipolar disorder cannot be treated with psychotherapy alone, such as counseling. Counseling and treatment can be combined, but the first treatment is medication.

He said to those who are hesitant about treatment, ‘Just as a person with a fever should be given antipyretics to reduce the fever, bipolar disorder must be treated by taking medicine.’ recommended for treatment.13bfa17596.jpg

The article is in Korean

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