Bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder affects around 2.4 percent of the population worldwide. Research across the world shows that half of all cases start before the age of 25, with some people showing early symptoms during childhood and others developing symptoms later in life.sni

What is bipolar disorder?sni

It is a complex disorder that likely stems from a combination of genetic and non-genetic factors. The disorder affects a person’s mood causing them to experience periods of high moods known as manic episodes. In this episode, individual presents in a high mood and overactive. Or the individual can experience periods of low moods known as depressive episodes, in which the individual presents as feeling low and underactive.sni

Men tend to develop this disorder slightly earlier than women. Most of the men become ill between 16 and 25 years old whereas women develop symptoms between 25 and 30 years. Studies now show a 10 times greater risk of developing bipolar if a first degree relative like a parent has the disorder.sni

Mood swings vs bipolar disordersni

Everyone has variations in their mood. However, in bipolar disorder these changes can be distressing and have a big impact on an individual’s life. One may feel that their high and low moods are extreme, and swings in the mood are overwhelming.sni

Treatment

Although there is no cure for bipolar disorder, treatment success rates have been as high as 60 percent through the use of antipsychotic medicines and psycho-social therapy such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).sni

Pakistani’s who have been able to seek appropriate medical guidance and have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder require support from their families. Mostly, this is difficult to achieve due to cultural beliefs surrounding mental health problems. These tend to be based on thoughts such as ‘the problem will go away with time’ or that ‘they are cursed’. These are the rigid thoughts and beliefs that Pakistan needs to move away from. It needs to move towards creating accessibility to education surrounding mental health in order to promote and encourage recovery.sni

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