Bipolar Disorder was once commonly known as “manic depression” and basically consists of several medical conditions known as depressive disorders, which effect the way in which an individual’s brain will function.
Although Bipolar Disorder affects males and females in approximately equal numbers, the actual symptoms exhibited by both genders can be vastly different. Bipolar symptoms in women tend to manifest mostly as depressive episodes, whereas men will more than likely experience more manic symptoms. Typically this pattern emerges in a patients first episode also, women tend to experience a depressive episode first and men will generally have a mania episode initially.
Women will generally be diagnosed mostly with Bipolar type II, which could be described as a milder form of Bipolar Disorder. However, rapid-cycling Bipolar, which is described by experiencing at least four episodes of depression or mania in one year, are more likely to be experienced by Women. Rapid Cycling Bipolar can be more difficult to treat than other forms of the disorder.
There has been extensive research that suggests Bipolar symptoms in women (especially rapid-cycling) could be influenced by abnormal thyroid levels. Thyroid imbalances are said to be more common in women than men. Women are also more likely to suffer from some of the following medical conditions than men. Obesity, anxiety, panic disorders and migraines. Hormonal imbalances can play a major role in developing Bipolar Disorders, declining estrogen levels during perimenopause can leave a women at risk of depressive disorders. During and after pregnancy can leave a women more vulnerable to the condition also.
Bipolar disorder is a higher risk in somebody who comes from a family with a history of Bipolar. This is not difinitive and absolute. Although there is a genetic link, it does not mean that someone that has a Bipolar parent will necessarily be Bipolar. Risk factors that contribute to Bipolar Symptoms in women include stressful life events, drug or alcohol abuse, harsh changes to sleeping patterns or other chronic medical conditions can contribute to the risk of Bipolar.
Medications used in the treatment of Bipolar are known as “mood stabilizers” These medicenes can reverse depressive or Manic episodes and prevent an individual from suffering a potential relapse. A Doctor or healthcare professional will prescribe either individual or a combination of medications that best suit your needs.
It is important to understand that whilst there is no actual cure for Bipolar Disorders, it can be treated successfully once diagnosed with ongoing psychological treatment and a successful prescription for medication. Studies are ongoing and new treatments are continuously being developed that help in the fight against Bipolar Disoder. It is possible to lead a complete and full life after a Bipolar disorder diagnosis.
Around one person in a hundred is diagnosed with a Bipolar Disorder, once diagnosed it can be treated successfully but many people are unaware that they have the condition and this can obviously be dangerous. It can occur at any age although commonly develops between the age of 18-24. The patterns of Bipolar symptoms in women can vary between individuals, with long term depressive episodes mixed with short term mania and vice versa. Please make sure that you contact your Doctor or healthcare professional if you or someone close to you is displaying symptoms of Depression or mania.
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