Thu, Apr 05, 2012 - Page 14 News List

Beware of bipolar disorder during drastic weather changes
天氣變化大 當心躁鬱症發作

A couple walks around a park in Greater Kaohsiung on March 26.

Photo: Ke You-hao, Liberty Times

Liu Jen-yi, a doctor at Kaohsiung Municipal Kao-Syuan Psychiatric Hospital, says the symptoms of patients with bipolar disorder have become more severe. Lin said there has been an increase in bipolar disorder cases at clinics due to the drastic changes in weather as of late and unpredictable changes in temperature.

A 30-year-old man named Hsiao Fang, who recently lost his job, was feeling dejected, was suffering from insomnia, had a lack of appetite, and did not like talking with others, but in just a matter of one week made a 180-degree turnaround. He was suddenly in a great mood, talking non-stop, and would not even give others a chance to speak. He was also speaking hyperbolically, claiming that a high-tech company had solicited him to be their general manager, and even made a list of future work plans.

Despite usually being introspective and shy, Hsiao Fang was trying to pick up pretty girls on the street, saying he wanted to get married. He even maxed out his credit card by buying a luxury car worth nearly a million New Taiwan dollars. This alerted his family that the situation had taken a turn for the worst, and they decided to take him to Kaohsiung Municipal Kao-Syuan Psychiatric Hospital. Hsiao Fang was subsequently diagnosed with affective disorder, commonly called manic depression.

Liu Jen-yi says bipolar disorder often gets worse when the seasons change, especially when going from spring to summer or autumn to winter. Since Hsiao Fang’s case was relatively serious, he had to be admitted to the hospital and given mood stabilizers and tranquilizers, which usually stabilize the symptoms. The medicine, however, must be taken according to a strict schedule along with a relatively light and simple diet, and following a regular daily schedule. Staying up late or all night must be avoided. All it takes is one night of not sleeping well to bring back the symptoms of bipolar disorder.


1. insomnia n.

失眠 (shi1 mian2)

例: If you have insomnia you should find a doctor with a background in sleep medicine.


2. turnaround n.

轉變 (zhuan3 bian4)

例: Investors are looking for signs of a turnaround in the market.


3. relapse v.

復發 (fu4 fa1)

例: How can we reduce the risk of relapse?


According to a follow-up study of the outcome of bipolar disorder patients on long-term treatment, 15 percent of patients had excellent recoveries, 45 percent had complete recoveries with periodic relapses, 30 percent had average recoveries with residual symptoms and periodic relapses, and 10 percent had worsening symptoms and became chronic after treatment. Doctors remind people that the earlier treatment is sought, the earlier recovery can occur.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)







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