BENGALURU: My younger brother is suffering from bipolar. He has a lot of mood swings, becomes violent and breaks things at home. We took him to several psychiatrists and the problem is that he himself is a dentist, so even though he reads about medicines, he never takes it. Any suggestions as to what we can do?
This is a very common and difficult situation to deal with. Avoid arguments with him. Behaviour towards him should be supportive and caring. Prevent him from being in potentially dangerous situations such as driving, taking important decisions of career, or being involved in investments. He can be admitted to a hospital if he refuses to be treated, gets into potentially harmful situations, indulges in alcohol or drug abuse, talks of or attempts suicide, gets violent, or even gets difficult to manage at home.
I experience extreme moods. On one side I experience over-confidence, risk-taking behaviour, lavish spending, poor decision, sleeping for two a day, and am seen taking too fast. On other days I experience low self-esteem, poor sleep, lethargy, loss of interest to do things, crying without reasons, and having suicidal thoughts. Am I bipolar?
Please see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Modern science provides good treatment which is effective in most cases. As self-help, identify symptoms emerging and take professional help. Do not take important decisions. Be with close people, pursue your interests, ensure you have normal sleep, and do not indulge in substance abuse of any kind, including alcohol. If you are already on medicines, take them regularly.
I have been suffering from OCD, which has now switched to Bipolar Disorder. I’m experiencing elevations in my mood. Is there a solution?
Sometimes OCD occurs along with bipolar disorder. Treating them is tricky as medicines used for OCD may precipitate mania. Cognitive behaviour therapy might help along with medicines.
The expert is a consultant psychiatrist at Manipal Hospital