Saturday, June 1, 2013

... manila bulletin: the ups and downs of bipolar disorder ... (life coach, counselor, psychotherapist, clinical psychologist, quezon city, manila, philippines)

The Ups and Downs of Bipolar Disorder
by Randy Dellosa, MD
Published: April 9, 2013

What do Jim Carey, Ben Stiller, Mel Gibson, Jean 
Claude Van Damme, and Catherine Zeta-Jones 
have in common? Besides being celebrities, they 
are also known to have bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric condition which 
involves extreme mood swings. The term 
“bipolar” means “having two poles,” just like the 
earth has a north pole and a south pole. In 
bipolar disorder, the two poles refer to two 
extreme moods, namely, mania and major 
depression. Hence, bipolar disorder is also 
called “manic-depressive” disorder. 

People who suffer from bipolar disorder swing 
from long bouts of depression to long bouts of 
mania. When we say “long bouts,” the mania 
and major depression may last for weeks, 
months, or even years.

Mania is characterized by the following 
symptoms: an extremely happy or angry mood, 
extreme talkativity, mental hyperactivity such 
that many thoughts race through one’s mind, 
physical hyperactivity as shown through 
simultaneous involvement in many activities, 
impulsivity especially manifested through 
spending sprees or by being overly generous, 
and the lack of desire to sleep.

Major depression, on the other hand, is 
characterized by the following symptoms: 
changes in the sleep pattern, changes in 
appetite, decreased energy level, decreased 
self-confidence and self-worth, a pessimistic 
mindset full of worries, fears, and concerns, 
poor concentration, loss of motivation and 
zest for living, lingering feelings of sadness 
and irritability, and possibly even thoughts 
of death or suicide.

Bipolar disorder is caused by neurochemical 
imbalances in the brain. The age of onset is 
usually in the teenage years, although it may 
appear later on in life. The cycle of bipolar 
disorder usually starts off with a major 
depression which is triggered by an 
emotionally stressful event. The depressed 
mood later shifts to a manic mood. There is 
strong evidence that bipolar disorder is 
transmitted through the genes.

Bipolar disorder is a treatable condition. The 
treatment package for bipolar disorder should 
include mood-stabilizing medications, 
psychotherapy, stress management 
techniques, and wellness therapies.
The primary treatment for bipolar disorder 
is mood-stabilizing medication. When the 
right mood-stabilizing medication is taken 
at the right dosage, the patient should 
experience significant improvement within 
two to three weeks. Ideally, the patient 
should not also experience any side-effects 
when taking the medications otherwise, 
the medication should be changed. Side-
effects may include headaches, stomach 
upset, palpitations, allergies, loss of 
appetite, emotional numbness, etc.

Psychotherapy is an important part of 
the treatment plan because emotional 
problems often trigger the bipolar disorder. 
As for wellness therapies, the person with 
bipolar disorder may undergo regular 
exercise, acupuncture, and massage 
sessions. It may also be helpful to take 
Omega-3 fish oil at two to three times a 
day and a high-potency Vitamin B complex 
tablet daily.

People with bipolar disorder don’t have to 
suffer from the extreme ups and downs of 
their emotions. Through proper treatment, 
they can get off their emotional roller-
coaster ride and have a more emotionally-
stable journey through life.

Holistic Healing for You
Randy Dellosa, MD
Doc Randy, is known as the life coach-
psychotherapist of Filipino celebrities. He is 
reputed to be the first and so far the only 
Filipino who is both a psychiatrist (M.D.) and 
a doctor of clinical psychology (Psy.D.)

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