Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that affects the person who suffers from it as well as his family and friends. Symptoms of bipolar disorder can range from severe depression to compulsive and erratic behaviours in both men and women. Bipolar disorder can often be misdiagnosed as depression and wreak havoc in a man's social and work life. Finding the right mental health care is key to managing this lifelong illness.
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
According to Dr. Phillip W. Long, of mentalhealth.com, bipolar disorder affects both men and women equally in all age groups and its prevalence worldwide is approximately 3 to 5 per cent. Bipolar disorder can be characterised by the symptoms of a manic episode, such as irritability, agressive behaviour, insomnia and compulsive behaviours such as hypersexuality, shopping, overspending and travelling. A depressive episode of bipolar disorder can be recognised by feelings of worthlessness, oversleeping, overeating, substance abuse, thoughts of suicide and an inability to concentrate or function normally, according to bipolar.com. Another kind of bipolar disorder, hypomania, is characterised by milder manic behaviours such as restlessness, irritability, racing thoughts, daily mood swings and disturbances in sleep.
Get Correctly Diagnosed
Only a psychiatrist or experienced mental health practitioner can correctly diagnose bipolar disorder. Many regular physicians mistake bipolar disorder for depression or other mental illnesses. Bipolar disorder is often accompanied by substance abuse or other self-destructive behaviours. This is because a man with bipolar disorder is attempting to alleviate his uncomfortable symptoms of mania or depression by self-medicating with alcohol, drugs or sex addiction. However, once properly treated, men can often eliminate these issues.
Standard Treatment for Bipolar Disorder
The best outcomes for men with bipolar disorder occur when they are able to do the following, according to mentalhealth.com: 1. Get a correct diagnosis. 2. Get treatment and faithfully stay on prescribed medication. 3. Adopt a healthy lifestyle. 4. See a supportive physician who is knowledgeable about bipolar disorder. 5. Learn which symptoms predict a manic, hypomanic or depressive episode. 6. Learn to trust warnings given by family and friends. 7. Learn as much as possible about bipolar illness from a therapist, self-help group or trusted mental health resource.