WHAT IS BIPOLAR DISORDER? It is no easy matter to try to figure out if you’re moody, or if your highs and lows are the result of the illness. Here are some’signs of bipolar disorder.
There area couple of kinds of bipolar disorder. it is mental illness characterized by mood swings. These can go from an emotional high or euphoria to deep depression as well as suicidal thoughts. Individuals suffering with bipolar I have depression alternating with euphoric moods. Bipolar II is what most suffer from. It is marked by reduced levels of manic symptoms. Theses symptoms have been labeled “hypomania“. Te characteristics of bipolar disorder can be masked with normal good as well as normal bad moods. These moods can be based on events or circumstances. Bipolar swings are a mental illness and it’s diagnosis of bipolar is very hard.
A bipolar person will exhibit the same symptoms as an individual who has only depression. ‘They have the same problems with energy, appetite, sleep, and focus as others who have ‘plain old depression,” Don Malone, MD, from the Psychiatry Department at Cleveland , has reported to Health magazine.
The happy mood, that follows the depressed moods is what differentiates a bipolar diagnosis. This being said, it is critical to keep your therapist up to date. The treatment for depression will not be the same as treatment for bipolar disorder. Taking Antidepressants when they are not needed might be dangerous in people with bipolar. In fact, it can launch them into mania. Signs of depression include:
It’s common to have periods of insomnia due to stress or anticipation of something exciting on the horizon. But someone in a manic phase of bipolar disorder will require significantly less sleep than usual (sometimes none at all) for days at a time—and still feel energized. During a depressive phase, a person may sleep for longer than usual. Carrie Bearden, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and psychology at UCLA, tells Health that staying on a regular sleep schedule is one of the first things she recommends for bipolar patients. Don’t miss these tips on how to sleep better from sleep doctors.
Who wouldn’t love to be in a great mood? And why would anyone see that as a sign of mental illness? ‘These phases of the disorder may actually be enjoyable to the individual because they allow for increased productivity and creativity that they normally might not experience,’ says Smitha Murthy, MD, psychiatrist at the Seton Mind Institute in Austin, Texas.
But if the mood elevation is extreme, there is no apparent cause for it, it lasts for a week or longer, or it appears in combination with other symptoms, it may be indicative of bipolar disorder.
Hypomania, characteristic of bipolar II, may be even harder to differentiate from a generally good mood because the symptoms are milder. Look for a combination of elevated mood with other bipolar symptoms, especially in repetitive cycle that alternates with depression.
Trouble concentrating, a tendency to jump from task to task, or being generally unable to finish projects may be attributed to flightiness, stress, or other factors. But if you’re so distracted that you’re unable to get anything done, and it’s interfering with your work or relationships, it could be a sign of bipolar disorder, says Dr. Murthy. These are signs of adult ADHD you might overlook.
‘This is one of the trickiest symptoms to recognize since it’s a natural reaction to frustration or unfairness,’ says James Phelps, MD, director of the Mood Disorders Program at Samaritan Mental Health in Corvallis, Oregon and coauthor of the upcoming book, Bipolar, Not So Much: Understanding Your Mood Swings and Depression. Getting upset that someone cut you off on the highway, for example, is pretty normal.
Anger out of proportion to the situation, rising too fast, getting out of control, lasting for hours, and shifting from one person to another, would differentiate the behavior as a possible bipolar symptom,’ he says.
A ‘chatty Cathy’ is not abnormal, says Dr. Phelps. ‘But talking so fast that others can’t keep up or understand—especially in phases with other bipolar symptoms, may be hypomania,’ he adds. Someone in a manic state may not even let another person get a word in. This type of rapid speech is especially concerning if a person doesn’t speak this way typically. Similarly, racing thoughts or ideas that come so quickly that others—and even you yourself—may not be able to keep up may be indicative of mania.
Normally, high self-esteem is a good thing. In a person with bipolar disorder, excessive confidence could lead to poor decisions. ‘They feel grandiose and don’t consider consequences; everything sounds good to them,’ Dr. Malone told Health. This may lead to taking risks and engaging in erratic behavior you ordinarily wouldn’t attempt, like having an affair or spending thousands of dollars you can’t afford to spend.
‘People with bipolar disorder have a higher than average rate of a co-occurring substance or alcohol use,’ says Dr. Murthy. It appears that they try to medicate themselves with alcohol or drugs. They are taken or drank to excess during one of their manic phases. They are also used to cope during an episode of depression.