Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Impulsive Personality Disorder

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impulsive personality disorder
Why do people with Bipolar Disorder have a hard time controlling their emotions?

Why do people with Bipolar Disorder have a hard time controlling their emotions?

Whooaaa, alright, I think we need to strand apart “emotions” and “mood.” An emotion is something you feel right here and now. A mood is a pervasive, enduring feeling that lasts for quite some time, still allowing for different emotions. For example, someone can be in a depressed mood and still laugh if someone tells a funny joke.
It is a common misconception that people with bipolar disorder are happy one minute and sad the next. In truth, you need to be experiencing the symptoms of a major depressive episode as the DSM defines it, which goes on for at least 2 weeks. You also need to experience the manic episode for at least 1 week. Even considering this, people still cycle much slower than 2 weeks depressed-1week manic-2 weeks depressed. A “rapid cycler” has 4 or more episodes in an entire year, which means that many people with bipolar disorder cycle even much slower than that!

As far as someone with bipolar disorder having trouble controlling their depressed and manic episodes, the leading theory on the cause of bipolar disorder is a chemical imbalance in the brain affecting seretonin and dopamine levels. The idea is that if you have too little seretonin, you’ll feel depressed and too much dopamine will lead one to feel euphoric, impulsive, etc. While certain kinds of behavioral therapy can have physical effects on the brain, cognitive-behavioral therapy, to my knowledge, has had no success controlling the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain when it comes to bipolar disorder. These neurotransmitters are very powerful, basically “control” mood, and take the controlling out of the person’s hands. While a person with bipolar disorder can learn ways to control manic depressive behaviors such as self injury, irritability, impulsive spending, etc, significantly changing their mood is very difficult without the help of psychotropic medication.

Now, if someone with bipolar disorder is having a hard time controlling their emotions, it could be for one of several reasons. When people are in a manic or depressed episode, either mood episode is characterized by extreme irritability. This irritability can look like someone being just fine, and then going off and yelling seconds later for little to no reason.
Also, it is not uncommon for bipolar disorder to be comorbid (occurring with) borderline Personality Disorder. This Personality Disorder is actually characterized by difficulty controlling emotions. People suffering from this disorder may feel every emotion very intensely beyond any rational, making it hard for them to control their feelings or behave appropriately. They also tend to be very impulsive, which only adds to this difficulty.

I hope this helps!

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