Selena Gomez told they have bipolar disorder: what it is and how it is treated

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Through an informal interview carried out by one of her friends from childhood, no less than Miley Cyrus, and through Instagram Live, the actress and singer, Selena Gomez said that has the disorder of bipolarity.

Selena, who began his career as a child working for Disney, he explained to Cyrus that after many years of searching for explanation to her mood changes dramatically, in the McLean Hospital in Massachusetts gave him the answer. The singer showed quiet and said have no fear, but relief. “After years of going through many different things, this is a bipolar disorder,” he said matter-of-factly about his mental problems.

“Bipolar disorder, formerly called ‘manic depression’, is a mental illness that causes extreme changes in mood that include high emotional (mania or hypomania) and low emotional (depression)”, explains Claudio Waisburg, pediatric neurologist, medical director of the Institute SOMA.

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“When you are depressed, you may feel sad or hopeless and lose interest or pleasure in most activities. When the mood switches to mania or hypomania (less extreme than mania), it is possible to feel euphoricfull of energy or unusually irritable. These changes in mood can affect sleep, energy, activity levels, judgment, behavior and ability to think clearly,” he adds. According to the doctor, the episodes of changes in mood can occur on rare occasions, or many times in the year.

“When the bipolar patient suffers episodes manic or hypomanic, can manifest symptoms such as increased activity or energy, have less need of sleep, a rush of words unusual, being distracted, and have a flurry of ideas that, in general, leads him to make bad decisions, as do compulsive shopping, have sexual practices that are risky or make investments absurd”, says the specialist.

Then, when comes the depressive state, the person happens to feel empty, hopeless or feeling like crying (in children and adolescents, the depressed mood may manifest as irritability). In addition, according to Waisburg, “you can see a marked loss of interest or decreased ability to feel pleasure in all activities, a significant thinning without dieting or, on the contrary, a weight gain, insomnia or sleeping too much, fatigue, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, inability to concentrate, indecisiveness, and thoughts of suicide”.

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Diagnosis in adolescence and youth

Bipolar disorder usually manifests during late adolescence or early adulthood, a time when the first symptoms appear.

According to the specialist consulted, it is usual that during the first years, the disease is misdiagnosed and confused with other disorders, such as hyperactivity, for example. In that sense, the degree Vanina Strada, a psychologist, says it is essential to resort to medical professionals specialized in the subject to obtain a correct diagnosis and start treatment as soon as possible.

According to Mariana Garcia, psychiatrist, DIM Health Centers, the disease affects the quality of life in a greater or lesser extent depending on the severity of the same. “These variables and oscillations in the mood to have much impact on the interpersonal relationships of the person, in his or her academic performance and in their job performance. When present in severe form, bipolar disorder is very disruptive and it greatly influences the life of the patient,” says medical.

Selena Gómez said he did not feel fear but relief at the diagnosis.

Selena Gómez said he did not feel fear but relief at the diagnosis.

Relationship between lupus and bipolar disorder

In September 2017, Selena Gomez surprised the world by announcing that she had undergone a kidney transplant, an operation that needed by the deterioration that lupus, autoimmune disease suffering from years ago, had caused him. And while the views are disparate, there would be a relationship between the lupus and the onset of bipolar disorder.

“The Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic, autoimmune that has a wide variety of physical manifestations, including features, neuropsychiatric, such as bipolar disorder and even some medication for the transplant and SLE could eventually make it worse,” says Waisburg.

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In the opinion of the licensed Strada, to the onset of bipolar disorder is needed biological and genetic causessuch as family history. “There can be several triggers, such as psychological factors (life history, traumas, stress), environmental causes, or drug or alcohol abuse, medications, etc., The historicity of a person is related to the triggering or not of a disease,” he says.

Bipolarity in Argentina and the world

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) this disorder affects 60 million people around the world, with a prevalence of 2 to 5%.

In our country, although there are no official statistics that report the amount of people who suffer from bipolarity, it is known that one of every three people over 18 years of age presented a mental health disorder at some point in their life. The most common are major depressive episode, followed by the abuse of substances, and specific phobias. So it is clear from the initial findings of the first Study in Argentina Epidemiology in Mental Health, published in the scientific journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. “It took place in 2018, and was the first national study in the general population of Argentina that sought to estimate the prevalence rates and severity of mental disorders over the life and age of onset of the same, as well as the delay in seeking care and the efficiency of services”, explains Waisburg. The study was multicenter and included 4 thousand persons of 18 years or more.

According to this study, suffers from bipolar disorder the 3.5% of the population argentinalocated behind the anxiety disorders (16.4%) and specific phobia (6.8 per cent), among other mental health disorders.

In September 2017, Selena received a kidney transplant.

In September 2017, Selena received a kidney transplant.

Medications and psychotherapy

In regard to the treatment of bipolar disorder, often indicate the combination of medications and psychotherapy. “It is important to know that bipolar disorder does not improve alone and that, while it is a chronic disease, you can control the symptoms and improve the quality of life with a good treatment,” said Waisburg. “It is important to consult as soon as possible especially if you have symptoms of depression or mania. In terms of the drugs listed mood stabilizers, antipsychotics and antidepressants”.

If not treated, bipolar disorder can cause serious problems that affect all aspects of life, such as:

• Problems related to the consumption of alcohol and drugs.

• Suicide or suicide attempts.

• Legal problems or financial.

• Damaged relationships.

• Poor performance at work or in school.

• Co-occurring conditions.