Bipolar disorders, an unknown pathology

Bipolar disorder is the sixth leading disability-causing disease.

In numbers. Bipolar disorders affect 1.2% of the population. They are at the 6 th largest disability-generating diseases. In 10 to 15% of cases, they lead the patient to suicide!

What is bipolar disorder? Formerly known as manic-depressive illness, it is a severe mental illness. It is characterized by an exaggerated alternation of depressive periods and excitement. Between these two phases, the person returns to a normal state. It is estimated that for 30% of patients, the onset of their disease dates back to adolescence.

What are the symptoms ? As mentioned above, bipolar disorder is broken down into two phases. The excitation phase is characterized by hyperactivity, euphoria, volubility but also appetite disorders, reduced need for sleep, irritability …

On the contrary, the depressive phase is marked by great sadness, suicidal thoughts, loss of energy and self-esteem, difficulty concentrating, feelings of guilt …

Badly defined causes The causes of bipolar disorder are not completely known. It is a multifactorial disease. A genetic factor first: the risk is 10 times higher if one of the parents is itself bipolar.

Biological factors: Several studies have shown abnormalities of the chemical mediators in the brain of patients. In fact, a decrease in noradrenaline and serotonin levels is observed in depression, whereas in mania, norepinephrine levels are high …

A complex care. “Treatments are different,” notes the Federation for Brain Research. “But the main thing is the treatment with lithium (a salt that has the property of stabilizing mood) or mood stabilizers to fight the depressive state.These treatments reduce the frequency and intensity of disorders but require constant biological monitoring Electroconvulsive therapy can also be offered when medications have failed, with a mood-regulating effect, and supportive psychotherapy is very helpful. “