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Blame it on Bipolar

Recently when Hollywood actor Catherine Zeta-Jones, 41, revealed that she suffers from lifestyle disease -bipolar disorder, every one began talking about the malady, which is primarily linked to stress and the urban lifestyle.

health and fitness Updated: Apr 28, 2011 15:21 IST
Roma Arora

Recently when Hollywood actor Catherine Zeta-Jones, 41, revealed that she suffers from lifestyle disease -bipolar disorder, every one began talking about the malady, which is primarily linked to stress and the urban lifestyle. Shortly after this incident, Disney actor and singer, Demi Lovato, 18, too announced that she suffers from the disease.

In the past, celebs such, as Robert Downey Jr, Jim Carrey, Jimi Hendrix and a few more are known to have been affected. Bipolar disorder is a kind of mood disorder that afflicts more than 1 per cent of adults. “In the disorder, two kinds of episodes occur; manic and depressive episodes, which are like two extreme poles of mood, from high to low, thereby the name bipolar disorder. Like any other illness, this can affect any person,” says Dr Samir Parikh, psychiatrist, Max Healthcare.

Mood swings
In this illness, you will either feel euphoric, aggressive and have an increased sexual drive on one extreme, or feel hopeless, lonely, and lose appetite on the other. Dr PC Rishi, consultant physician, National Heart Institute, says, “One of the reasons for bipolar disease is stress and hectic urban lifestyle. Though it is also caused due to chemical imbalance, and can occur due to genetic inheritance too. But like most other mental disorders, bipolar is not directly passed genetically from one generation to another.

How to cure it?
Bipolar disorder is often treated with mood stabilising medication and, sometimes, other psychiatric drugs. “Bipolar can be diagnosed by gathering comprehensive medical history, family history, and mental status examination. The medical examination will usually include lab tests to evaluate the person’s general health and to explore whether the individual has a medical condition that might have mental-health symptoms,” explains Dr Neelesh Tiwari, neuro psychologist, World Brain Centre & Research Institute. Doctors believe that creative people are affected the most by this disease, “Normally, people associated with creative fields suffer from bipolar disorder and celebs like Catherine Zeta-Jones and Demi Lovato are suffering from it due to their busy lifestyle, constant pressure and bizarre working cycle. There’s no permanent cure for this disease, but it can be controlled to an extent with medication, and under regular supervision of doctors,” adds Dr PC Rishi.

Subtypes of Bipolar disorder
Bipolar I: The person has alternating episodes of mania, punctuated by periods of extreme activity, high energy and lack of sleep. Depression periods have bouts of pessimism, where the patient feels lonely.

Bipolar II: The person becomes hypomanic; they often feel good and can be productive at work. But their bouts of depression can be equally severe.

Cyclothamia: It is considered as the mildest form of bipolar disorder. The person has mood swings, but it isn’t as long or as severe as in Bipolar I and Bipolar II.