Over the last two weeks, one person that kept making the headlines was Nana Abena Korkor Addo, and this is because of her mental health condition, Bipolar Disorder.
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Bipolar disorder, formerly called manic depression, is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression).
Abena Korkor, just until recently, was not making headlines with regards to her mental health condition since she was not triggered to get a manic episode.
Since her outburst, there has been a lot of social commentary about her condition.
YEN.com.gh has however compiled five things everyone needs to know about bipolar disorder in order to better understand her ordeal.
1. Genetics and Family history
Most people have made mention of the fact that mental health conditions like psychosis runs in families. The same has been said about Bipolar disorder.
However, the exact inheritance pattern of bipolar disorder is unclear, but variations in many genes likely combine to increase a person’s chance of developing it.
The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 4.4 percent of people will experience Bipolar at some point during their life.
However, people are more likely to develop bipolar disorder if they have a close relative with the condition or if they have another mental health condition, such as depression or schizophrenia.
2. Environmental factors
Aside the genetics, some environmental factors appear to play a part in triggering bipolar disorder in susceptible people.
These include periods of high stress and a traumatic head injury that may cause brain injury which may cause symptom onset.
Alcohol or drug misuse has been noted as part of causative factors, as well as childbirth, as the condition has been said to be common in new mothers.
3. Bipolar and Hypersexuality
Bipolar disorder can also affect one's sex life, leading to a drastically increased libido during periods of mania.
Someone who experiences this heightened sexuality may receive a diagnosis of hypersexuality or sexual addiction, a diagnosis that still carries a lot of controversy within the fields of both psychology and sexuality.
So in the case of Abena Korkor, she revealed that most of her manic episode ends up in hypersexuality as she resorts to her social media to talk about her sexual escapades with men.
According to her, since she is a very sensual and sexual young woman, she ends up talking about those things.
Another thing about Bipolar disorder is the common triggers for manic episodes. These triggers include the death of a loved one, grief, a relationship breakdown or divorce, extreme stress caused by problems with work, money, or relationships.
In the case of Abena Korkor, she revealed in her interview with Delay that her ousting from Media General also contributed to her recent manic episode.
According to her, it was one of the triggers of her recent episode as she could not fathom exactly what had gone wrong.
5. Depression and Suicide
During periods of depression, the individual may experience crying and have a negative outlook on life and the individual may also indulge in self-pity.
When a person diagnosed with bipolar becomes depressed, they often feel sad, hopeless and lose interest or pleasure in most activities.
When their mood shifts to mania or hypomania, they may feel euphoric, full of energy, or unusually irritable.
These mood swings can affect sleep, energy, activity, judgment, behavior, and the ability to think clearly.
Also, the risk of suicide is high. Statistics have shown that 6% of those with bipolar disorder died by suicide, while 30–40% engaged in self-harm. or destruction.
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