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Video: Bipolarity

Although it is an incurable condition, with the proper diagnosis and treatment, those affected by bipolarity can lead a stable and healthy life.

Bipolarity is a mental illness that affects the way we work because it has to do with emotions and / or cognition. That is, if our thinking is not clear, we are going to express it with our words and actions.

This condition is more common than we think. A group of researchers from the United States carried out a study in Latin America, Europe and Asia that found that 2.4% of the world population could suffer from this disease. Inclusively, the investigation published in Archives of General Psychiatry determined that only 25.2% of bipolar patients had medical assistance and more than 50% of the interviewees indicated that they began to have the first symptoms in adolescence. However, these are not isolated cases. Recently, actresses Catherine Zeta-Jones and Demi Lovato, a Disney star, publicly revealed that they suffer from it. Even many of his colleagues supported the action of these celebrities because they humanized the disease.

* Statistics reviewed by Reuters Health.

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How does it manifest?

"Bipolarity is characterized by the patient having a manic period and, on other occasions, a depressive state. In type 1 bipolarity, the intensity of the manic state is much more significant. The person almost does not need to sleep. The manic depressive state comes when the person becomes psychotic, that is, he loses connection with reality. He thinks that only he is right and / or that others are fools. It is difficult to hospitalize these patients, because the person feels so spectacular that it is practically impossible to convince her otherwise. In bipolarity 2, the patient sleeps more, his manic episodes are less intense and the level is lower, "explains Gabriela Cora, a Hispanic psychiatrist specialized in the subject.


Dr. Cora, author of Leading Under Pressure (Xlibris Corporation), states that for a doctor to diagnose the disease, he needs to evaluate the behavior of the individual, perform scientific tests and offer therapy.

1. Check the hours of sleep, since in the manic phase the patient does not need to sleep much.

2. Measure your mood. Know if it is normal / moderate or too high.

3. Distinguish if you have dysphoria, that is, if you suffer from a manic state with manifestations of anger.

4. Assess your emotional state.

5. Make laboratory tests to determine if the person uses drugs -because this can cause other consequences- and / or rule out brain tumors, which could be percussionists of this alteration.

Family history

“Since this disease has a genetic factor, it is good to do a family medical history. This does not mean that if the mother or father had it, the child will inevitably have it. It can also be suffered by a person who has no previous cases in her family. But, when you analyze the family of an affected person, you always find that some relative was depressed or used alcoholism to self-treat, "says Cora.

Bipolarity vs. schizophrenia

“Bipolarity 1 and 2 are variants of an emotional state. The person feels depressed or manic for months. Meanwhile, schizophrenia is a thinking disorder. The person has a distortion of reality, can hear voices, have strange perceptions and it is very difficult for them to function again just as when they were well,”says the expert on stress and anxiety disorders.

Is there a cure for the disease?

Bipolarity 1 and 2 are chronic diseases that can be controlled with the correct treatment and taking long-term medications. If properly diagnosed and treated, people with depression or bipolar affective disorder can lead stable and healthy lives.

To control the disease

The doctor must make the correct diagnosis and avoid confusing it with another. Create an intervention plan that includes:

Psychotherapy: To educate and help the patient to modify the forms of behavior that unbalance their mood.

Psychopharmacology: The classic treatment is with lithium, which works through salt channels. “Lithium makes modifications in the brain so that the person is balanced. But, lithium salt is cheap, it doesn't last long in the body and it would take too much [for it to take effect],”says Dr. Cora. Other medications that specialists recommend: Depakote, Tegretol and Lamictal.

Lifestyle: A balanced diet and repetitive exercises such as running, swimming, walking, etc. "This will help the person feel good, remove energy and regulate sleep," explains Cora.

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What should the family do?

Educate yourself and have knowledge of the disease.

Take control of the situation in order to help the patient.

Be aware of the ingestion of medications and verify that you follow your routine (exercises, eating and sleeping at the same time, etc.)

If she is a mother, both husband and children must learn to cope with the episodes. If it's a child, both parents need to recognize when a manic state will start to help them.

In jobs, sometimes the patient makes bad decisions that impact the company. Therefore, it is advisable to talk to your colleagues and boss to explain what happens to him. "Sometimes it's hard for a person to get back to work and gain the confidence of their colleagues," adds Cora.

The most important thing is to let him know that you are there to help him.

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