Bipolar disorder is a serious and hereditary mental illness for which society knows very little. According to estimates of the World Health Organization, about 60 million people worldwide suffer from it and affect the mechanisms that regulate the state of mind.
"In most cases, bipolar disorder begins with depressive symptoms and the patient is not correctly diagnosed with unipolar depression until euphoria occurs, through manic or hypomania symptoms," explains Dr. Jose Manuel Montes.
Among the information that can be collected at the exhibition, the visitor discovers the symptoms that occur in this disorder.
The specialist adds: "In other periods, the disorder begins with psychotic symptoms, which can be confused with other disorders in which the same symptoms occur, especially in people who use substances. Also, hypomania may remain unnoticed when it is very short and not disorder ".
Early diagnosis helps to better manage the disease and avoid multiple episodes and improve quality of life. Symptoms of episodes of mania: euphoria or irritability, excessive self-esteem or sense of magnitude, reduced sleeping need, more reasonable than usual, accelerated thinking, ease of distraction. In addition, increased activity, excessive participation in pleasant activities or at risk, excessive costs, among others.
How it is treated
There is a pharmacological and psychological treatment. Montes explains that "for bipolar disorder, treatment is basically pharmacologically, and from there a psycho-education program can be included."
The goal of lithium is standard treatment because it is one of the most commonly used and offers the best results when it works. Also, antipsychotics are used to treat this disorder.
The long-term side-effects that the patient can undergo treatment is small compared to any problems that can lead to bipolar disorder, according to experts and, therefore, Montes says "we should not have much worry about it."
On the other hand, it is recommended that the patient follow psychotherapy related to the disease.
Psychologist Mateo Perez explains that "it is good for the patient to follow a psycho-education program, which consists in acquiring knowledge about the disease itself and the need to follow the treatment properly." He also acquires knowledge that helps to detect and prevent new episodes. "
You know the disease
Perez justifies campaigns for this disease and mental health in general. He also condemns the lack of adequate explanation of the characteristics of the disorder, since a person may suffer, and neither he nor his relatives may at times be aware that it is there.
In addition, the Psychologist Coordinator of the Bipolar Association Madrid encourages the attending physician or specialist to receive information.
Among the diagnosed themselves there is a great lack of information. Perez says the association comes to users with a medical report, a diagnosis, but without knowledge of the disease.
He also explains that, from a sample made by 120 subjects, nearly 50% were not properly informed of this disorder.
These data are worrisome because patient self-knowledge and strengthening helps the patient better control his illness and lead a better quality of life.
Montes notes that "when disorder is accepted and understood, with current treatments and with the help of professionals, the goal of full normalization must be achieved."
Isabel Mesha, president of the Bipolar Association Madrid, regrets that "it continues to be a disease with many stigmatization by society, and partly because of the self-stigma of the person concerned."
The expert adds: "The social plane can generate a rejection of the circle of equality and workforce, as companies do not bet on people with this disorder."
Late diagnosis and stigmatization negatively affect a patient with this disease.