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Bipolar disorder

22 Dec
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User's Question


My father seems to have bipolar disorder. For 5 to 6 months his interaction with people will be very less, very calm and quiet, won't prefer to go out and mingle with people. Where as in the begining of December month he gets very irritated, short tempered, lack of sleep, wakes up around 2am. He won't sit at home at all, speaks a lot with people. Due to this behaviour he sometimes end up in very serious disputes. This stage last for 4 to 5 months. He is not willing to go and consult a doctor regarding this and get very furious if we try to convince him to visit a doctor. He is now 71 years old. He is suffering from this from more than 40 years. Is there any way we can handle this situation?

05 Jan
Shruti Jayakumar

Doctors Answer

Jan 05, 2017 05:53 PM


Firstly, I wanted to enquire if your father has been formally diagnosed as a bipolar disorder or some other form of illness since some of the symptoms experienced by your father as stated in your question seems to be indicating signs of dementia  or some other form of personal distress as well owing to his age.  Hence, I would recommend you to get a formal diagnosis of what your father is suffering from a psychiatrist. I understand that it can be challenging to convinve your father to visit a doctor. However, one method of convinving him to visit a doctor is to enquire if he is currently experiencing any physical symptoms such as headache , lack of sleep  which is affecting his daily life (since you had mentioned that he was feeling irritated etc.) and taking him to a  general physician. When the physician enquires about the case history of your father regarding the causes of his irritation, lack of sleep etc. from you or your father directly, the doctor will be able to clearly decipher whether your father's symptoms are due to any psychological causes/ illness. I am hoping that your father would be convinced to approach a physician initially.  Do let me know your thoughts !

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
  • Simrita Ajaykumar Basrur
    Simrita Ajaykumar Basrur
    MBBS, FRCS London