It is necessary for everyone to be on the lookout for the symptoms of bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder in men and women
It is noticeable that some symptoms of this condition are similar to both men and women, while others are gender biased. Intermittent sleep, having a low and irritated mood, elevated self-esteem, talkativeness, racing thoughts, hyper activeness and regular impulses for interesting activities like shopping are some of the common symptoms for both genders. Some people from both groups might become less interested in basics such as eating and avoiding active participation in the case of a job.
More and more research points to bipolar women being more vulnerable to depressive episodes than men. Men have a higher tendency of experiencing a mixed state, with a blend of both depression and mania. Furthermore, more women diagnosed with bipolar tend to have bipolar II which is dotted by depression and hypomania episodes. Diagnostic and Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) ascertains that a female patient with bipolar II is susceptible to alternate rapidly between episodes and that women are more suicidal than men.
The role of sleep in managing bipolar disorder
There is a great connection between sleep patterns and bipolar illness. Excessive sleep or little and lack of sleep have adverse effects on people living with bipolar. Changing this routine can help to manage the condition much easier. Studies indicate that sleep disorders have a profound effect on people with bipolar disorder and to those at risk of contracting it.
According to scientists, the cycle of bipolar episodes seems to be emanating from sleep disorders by a great percentage. For example, insomnia frequently occurs in bipolar patients, resulting in difficulties in sleeping or having extremely brief spans of sleep. Delayed sleep phase syndrome is another sleep disorder which also has a role in regulating bipolar disorder. It is a common circadian rhythm disturbance very common in people with depression. Some bipolar patients have shown serious cases of experiencing irregular sleep. If a person with bipolar lacks routine like the drug addicts who sleep during the day and stay awake at night, this irregularity can adversely interfere with its treatment.
Additionally, social rhythm disruption, which points at any disruption in a routine that affects sleep cycle, usually precipitates manic and hypomanic episodes. These activities may include staying up late watching a movie or chatting online. Staying awake for more than twenty hours in a sleep-deprived person can further aggravate the manic episodes.
Strategies for Coping with Sleep Disorders
Bipolar patients who struggle with sleep disorders are advised to sleep and get up around the same time every day. They should also refrain from napping especially late in the afternoon, and if it is must, keep it within an hour. Patients are encouraged to use only the bedroom for sleeping and avoid heavy feeding before bedtime. In cases of sleep deprivation, don’t be afraid of getting out of the bed and do something productive. The aim is to maintain a regular schedule. If you have hypersomnia, then you can cope with it by cutting down your sleeping time, i.e. setting the alarm. Psychotherapy and medications can also be utilised to improve sleep habits thereby controlling bipolar disorder symptoms as well.
Bipolar disorder symptoms typically start showing early in your adulthood years. Its diagnosis can also come up later in life. Although the causes are not clear enough, some experts explain that it involves genetic factors as it is seen to be running in families.