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There is no denying the fact that we all face ups and downs in our lives. But, when it is about bipolar disorder, these ups and downs are a bit more severe. It can affect you greatly including your school or job performance and relationships - ultimately disrupting your daily life.
SEE ALSO: NEW STUDY SAYS SPECIFIC GENE VARIANTS MAY INCREASE RISK OF BIPOLAR DISORDER
However, if you are able to identify the problem in the first place, you can feel better and even get your life back on the track. All you need to do is be aware of the causes and symptoms so that you can resort to required healthcare assistance.
This article specifically talks about everything related to bipolar disorder. So, if you have been finding the answers to the questions like what is bipolar disorder, what is the main cause that leads to this disorder or how can you detect it in the early stage - you are at the right place.
Bipolar Disorder - Causes and Symptoms
Once known as manic depression, bipolar disorder can lead to serious shifts in mood, energy, thinking as well as behavior in an individual. The cycles of bipolar disorder are not fixed and can stretch for days, weeks or even months.
The mood swings are so severe that they can even affect your ability to function in your daily activities.
While there is no exact cause known for the disorder, researchers have come up with certain factors that can increase the risk of its development. These factors include:
- Having a family member with the disorder
- Leading life with high stress
- Having a chemical imbalance in the brain
- Facing some personal issues like the breakdown of a relationship, physical, sexual or emotional abuse, loss of loved one
- Physical illness, sleep disturbances or overwhelming issues of life like the financial crunch
Treatment for bipolar disorder becomes imperative as soon as you detect signs of the same. So, what are the signs that you need to look here?
Warning Signs to Watch Out for Bipolar Disorder
It may be hard to diagnose, but, these warning signs can alert you at once to opt for bipolar treatment. The warning signs are divided into two types - first for mania and the second for depression.
Signs of Mania:
- Feeling too happy or 'high' for longer periods of time
- Having a decreased need for sleep
- Feeling extremely impulsive or restless
- Talking way too fast, often with racing thoughts
- Having overconfidence in your capabilities
- Engaging in risky behavior like gambling with life savings
- Becoming easily distracted from what you are doing
Signs of Depression:
- Feeling sad for a long period of time
- Staying reclusive from friends and family
- Losing interest in the activities that once you loved doing
- Losing appetite
- Facing a lack of energy
- Having issues with memory, concentration and decision making
- Getting suicidal vibes or having a preoccupation with death
Is anyone around you facing these symptoms? If yes, the first thing you should do is to take the medical assistance - a proper treatment for bipolar disorder.
Yes, there are treatments, but researchers have shown that there is no known cure for bipolar disorder. Though, the symptoms can definitely be managed with a combination of psychiatric medication and psychotherapy.
With this treatment, the long-term effects can be minimized, specifically when it gets identified at an early stage. The bipolar treatment surely requires a constant touch with the healthcare team and the medications prescribed them.
But, did you know? You too can help yourself in fighting with this disorder.
Yes, there are a variety of mobile health apps available that can support you in managing your bipolar disorder. You can resort to different features ranging from medication and meditation reminders to mood trackers.
What do you think? Aren't these apps worth giving a try?
5 Best Bipolar Apps to Deal with Your Disorder
Listed below are some of the best bipolar apps for you that are specifically designed to help you manage your condition. So, are you ready to explore them? Let's begin!
1. T2 Mood Tracker
As the name suggests, it is a mood tracking app where you are able to monitor your mood on six scales: anxiety, stress, depression, brain injury, post-traumatic stress, general well-being. You also have the feature of building custom scales.
All you need to do is swipe a small bar to the left or right to rate your mood. Doing so will display the ratings on the graphs.
You can even prepare notes with this app to document daily events, treatments, medical changes through which the healthcare providers can make further bipolar treatment decisions.
Available on: Android and iOS (version: iOS 7.0 or higher)
2. Mood Log
With this app, you can know how you are faring every month through custom charts and graphs. All you need to do is enter a number that according to you correspond to your current mood.
If not this, you can also tag the mood with different words. With an extremely flexible logging system, this is the best way to keep a track on your every mood-related information.
You can also keep a record of other details pertaining to your health – like headaches, nausea and panic attacks. Doing so will help you view how your mood progresses over the course of time.
Available on: Android
3. Medisafe Pill Reminder & Medication Tracker
It can be a challenge to manage your medication and treatment for bipolar disorder. So, how about using Medisafe - an app that assists you with an easy-to-use medication tracker and an organizer?
With this app, you can also view the progress reports to ensure that you are following your medication schedule. You also get refill reminders and can share the data with other sources through this app.
In short, this app simply makes managing all of your medications and treatments easy and effective.
Available on: Android and iOS
4. Stop Breathe Think
It is an award-winning app that encourages you to check how you are feeling currently. Not only that, but it even recommends you the short guided meditations, acupressure and yoga videos that promote relieving stress, anxiety and depression.
So, in a way, it assists your on-going bipolar treatment in a significant way. There are around 55 tailored meditations that you can resort to.
The app also has the feature of recording the meditation progress, motivating you to stick to your routine.
Available on: Android and iOS
5. Sleep Cycle
Known to be an 'intelligent alarm clock', Sleep Cycle is an app that analyzes your sleep and wakes you when you are in the lightest sleep phase. It basically promotes a natural way to wake up that makes you feel rested and relaxed for the rest of the day.
You can see your sleeping trends and also track your snore easily with the app. If you take its premium version, it not only tracks your mood but also helps you find out how coffee, stress, weather conditions or eating too much affects your sleep quality.
Available on: Android and iOS
Price: Free but paid subscription for the premium version
The list doesn't end here. There are many other apps that can prove to be a helping hand while you are undergoing treatment for bipolar disorder.
These apps basically assist in tracking your emotions, let you stay organized with your treatment and routine while optimizing your daily habits. So, get going by downloading the app that you think can turn out beneficial for you.
And above all, be optimistic that the treatments and your efforts of fighting with this disorder are going to be paid off pretty soon.