we are uninformed • El Nuevo Diario


Bipolar disorder is a serious and inherited mental illness that is little known to the public. According to estimates by the World Health Organization, around 60 million people in the world suffer from it and influence the mechanisms that govern the state of the mind.

"In most cases, bipolar disorder begins with depressive symptoms and patients are not correctly diagnosed with unipolar depression until euphoria arises, through manic or hypomanic symptoms," explained Dr. José Manuel Montes.

Among the information that can be collected at the exhibition, visitors find symptoms that occur in this disorder.

The specialist added: "At other times, this disorder begins with psychotic symptoms, which can be confused with other disorders where the same symptoms also occur, especially in people who use substances. Also, hypomania can escape attention when it is very short and absent. disturbance. "

Early diagnosis helps to better manage disease and avoid more episodes and improve quality of life. Symptoms of mania episodes: euphoria or irritability, excessive self-esteem or feelings of greatness, reduced need to sleep, more talk than usual, accelerated thinking, ease of distraction. In addition, increased activity, excessive participation in fun activities or risky, excessive expenditure, among others.

How is this treated

There are pharmacological and psychological treatments. Montes explained that "for bipolar disorder, treatment is basically pharmacological and, from there, psychoeducation programs can be included".

This targets lithium as a standard treatment, because it is one of the most widely used and offers the best results when working. Also, to treat this disorder, antipsychotics are increasingly used.

The long-term side effects that patients with this treatment may have are small compared to all the problems that can cause bipolar disorder, according to experts and, therefore, Montes said that "we shouldn't have big attention about it".

On the other hand, it is recommended that patients follow psychotherapy related to this disease.

Psychologist Mateo Pérez explained that "it is good that patients take a psychoeducation program, which consists of gaining knowledge about the disorder itself and the need to take care properly. It also acquires knowledge that helps detect and prevent new episodes."

Get to know the disease

Pérez justifies the campaign about this disease and mental health in general. He also criticized the lack of adequate disclosure of the characteristics of the disorder, because someone might suffer and both he and his relatives, sometimes, might realize that it exists.

In addition, the psychologist coordinator of Asociación Bipolar Madrid encourages attending physicians or specialists to obtain information.

Among those diagnosed there was a lack of information. Perez said that the association came users with medical reports, diagnoses, but without knowledge of the disease.

Also, he explained that from the sample that made 120 subjects, nearly 50% had not been properly informed about this disorder.

This data is worrying because self-knowledge and empowerment of patients helps patients to better control their disease and lead a better quality of life.

Montes points out that "when interference is received and understood, with current care and professional help, the goal of complete normalization must be achieved."

Isabel Mesa, president of Asociación Bipolar Madrid, regrets that "it continues to be a disease with a lot of stigma on the part of the community and, in part, because of the stigma of the affected person".

Experts added: "In the social field can result in rejection by the circle of equality and labor, because companies do not bet on people with this disorder."

Late diagnosis and stigmatization have a negative effect on patients with this disease.


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