Welcome to the topic, “Long-term Effects of Bipolar Disorder”.
Bipolar disorder is a brain illness that brings changes in energy, a person’s mood, and the ability to function properly. People with bipolar disorder face intense emotional conditions that typically occur during different periods of one or more days to weeks, called mood episodes.
These mood episodes are classified as manic/hypomanic or depressive. People with bipolar disorder usually have some periods of neutral mood as well. When cured, people with bipolar disorder can live productive and full lives.
Bipolar disorder is a long mental disorder. There’s no exact treatment, but you can cope with it with talk therapies, medications, and other types of treatment. Even so, there are potential long-term effects. Here’s what to know about the long-term effects of bipolar disorder.
Research indicates bipolar disorder may damage your brain over time. Professionals think it’s because you gradually lose amino acids. They help in the building of the proteins that make up the protective lining around your neurons.
With the passage of time this disorder may affect:
- Overall executive function
The frontal lobe of the brain also might not work. That’s the area of your brain that helps in remembering words and making decisions.
Some of the medicines used for the treatment of bipolar disorder can change how the body of patient functions the longer you use them.
It is a mood stabilizer that may cause problems with certain body organs.
It can damage your kidneys resulting in a type of diabetes called nephrogenic diabetes insipidus. Your kidneys fail to control the fluid balance due to the lack of responsiveness of hormones. Its symptoms include feeling more thirsty all the time and peeing a lot.
Your thyroids don’t make enough hormones the condition is called hypothyroidism. This condition can lead to:
- Feeling cold
- Dry skin
- Weight gain
- Trouble thinking quickly
When your parathyroid glands can’t manage the level of calcium it results from hyperparathyroidism. It’s a less common long-term effect, but it can result in:
- Joint or bone pain
- Kidney stones
- Abdominal pain
Young girls are more at risk. If your doctor recommends you lithium he will test from time to time whether it is working right or not.
If your mania and depression are not under-control you might also take an antipsychotic along with mood stabilizers. Over time, antipsychotics can increase the risk for:
- Diabetes and Glucose intolerance
- Dyslipidemia (abnormal lipid levels)
- Movement disorders like Parkinson’s disease
Bipolar Disorder and Suicide
Some individuals with this disorder may think of suicide.
Read out these warning signs and take them for immediate treatment:
- Isolating yourself
- Depression (changes in sleeping, eating activities)
- Talking about hopelessness, helplessness, or suicide
- Having more accidents
- Acting recklessly
- Taking more risks
- Abusing alcohol or drugs
- Focusing on negative and morbid themes
- Talking about death and dying
- Giving away possessions
- Becoming less emotionally expressive, or crying more
What Happens Without Treatment?
If you leave bipolar disorder untreated its symptoms will become worse. Your mania episodes and depression tend to last for longer times and happen more frequently, especially with increasing age.
You may think of suicide a lot. If you’re having thoughts of death, contact Sands Treatment Center.