Bipolar disorder: Suicide attempts common in men than women - Clinical Psychologist

Thu, 28 Oct 2021 Source: gbcghanaonline.com

A Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Isaac Newman Arthur, has disclosed that men are more likely to commit suicide than women as a result of bipolar disorder.

According to him, this is because men do not talk about their emotional problems and they don’t seek help.

“A lot of men may commit suicide maybe as a result of bipolar. Generally, men die more from suicide than women because men do not talk about their emotional problems and they don’t seek help. They are likely to use more effective ways of killing themselves than women.

"Women attempt suicide three times more, men die four times more from suicide because women actually seek help and talk about their emotional problems and they are likely to use less effective ways of killing themselves so by the time die, someone would come and save them.”

The Medical Doctor disclosed this on the GTV’s Breakfast Show on Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Dr. Arthur said bipolar disorder impairs the function of the body.

“Generally, we all have these mood swings but for these people, they have extreme mood changes between the highs and the lows. At one point, they are on top of the world, at another point the world is on top of them and they swing in between the two.

"So it impairs their functioning in four ways—causing personal distress, dysfunction (not able to go about normal activities), damage to everything around them, and deviation from social norms. It affects your functioning and you seem not to have control over it.”

He explained that people who suffer from mental illness, which has two episodes, are not conscious of what’s going on.

“We have Manic episodes and Depressive episodes. Manic is the emotional high and depressive episode is the emotional low. The Manic episodes have this euphoria, become impulsive and highly irritable, and there is this burst of energy.

"They may get involved in crime-related behaviours, sex-related activities without actually thinking about it when they are in that Manic episode. They are not conscious of what’s going on. The Depressive episodes are also very terrible.

"They lose energy, have sleep and eating problems, loss of interest and concentration, and most importantly they may have some suicidal tendencies and that is very serious.”

He further said men are more likely to experience more severe episodes than women.

“Men are more likely to experience more severe episodes than women but women may experience more depressive episodes more than men. Problems with bipolar is that we actually tend to misdiagnose or underdiagnosed because of the perceptions about mental illnesses.”

The Clinical Psychologist also talked about some causes of bipolar disorders and urged people suffering from extreme mood swings to seek the right help and support.

“Generally, we have multiple factors—biological and environmental problems. A lot of mental health issues are actually because of brain changes. We have these neurochemical changes in the brain that are responsible for how we feel. The brain is the seat for all mental processes.

"So there are some changes in the brain that are responsible for bipolar so you can’t blame people for whatever they are going through. And also genetics influences, it means if you have a first-degree relative in your family who has some mental illness or bipolar, there’s the likelihood that someone else in the family would have it.

"Then also environment stresses, someone goes through some traumatic event. The risk may be there and that becomes a trigger. All stressful situations can trigger episodes. Then also drug-related problems like substance abuse.”

“We don’t use one approach. So we use physical, mental, social, and also spirituality as a treatment for bipolar. Spirituality means everything people do under spirituality maximises their mental wellbeing, for example, prayer and meditation.

"We also may do some psychotherapy and family therapy to help manage the triggers. Affected persons need to be supported. You can’t have bipolar without support, it won’t work.

"It’s a lifelong kind of problem but your episodes can be reduced if you maintain medications and also receive the right support. We shouldn’t make it a personal issue, moral or judgment kind of issue. We should actually seek help for everybody who has some form of mental illness,” he added.

Source: gbcghanaonline.com
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