Bipolar

SYMPTOMS OF BIPOLAR

WHAT IS BIPOLAR DISORDER?

Bipolar disorder, which is also known as manic-depressive illness and will be called by both names throughout this publication–is a mental illness involving episodes of serious mania and depression.

The person’s mood usually swings from overly “high” and irritable to sad and hopeless and then back again, with periods of normal mood in between.

Bipolar disorder typically begins in adolescence or early adulthood and continues throughout life. It is often not recognized as an illness, and people who have it may suffer needlessly for years or even decades.

Effective treatments for BIPOLAR DISORDER are available that greatly alleviate the suffering caused by bipolar disorder and can usually prevent its devastating complications.

BIPOLAR Symptoms

The difference between bipolar disorder and unipolar disorder, generally called major depression, is that bipolar disorder involves both elevated and depressive mood states. The duration and intensity of mood states varies widely among people with the illness.

Fluctuating from one mood state to the next is called “cycling”. Mood swings can cause impairment or improved functioning depending on their direction (up or down) and severity (mild to severe). There can be changes in one’s energy level, sleep pattern, activity level, social rhythms and cognitive functioning. Some people may have difficulty functioning during these times. It is not necessary for depressive episodes to exist in order to be diagnosed with Bipolar I.

Signs and symptoms of mania include discrete periods of:

  • Increased energy, activity, restlessness, racing thoughts, and rapid talking
  • Excessive “high” or euphoric feelings
  • Extreme irritability and distractibility
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Unrealistic beliefs in one’s abilities and powers
  • Uncharacteristically poor judgment
  • A sustained period of behavior that is different from usual
  • Increased sexual drive
  • Abuse of drugs, particularly cocaine, alcohol, and sleeping medications
  • Provocative, intrusive, or aggressive behavior
  • Denial that anything is wrong

Signs and symptoms of depression include discrete periods of:

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or empty mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in ordinary activities, including sex
  • Decreased energy, a feeling of fatigue or of being “slowed down”
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
  • Restlessness or irritability
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Loss of appetite and weight, or weight gain
  • Chronic pain or other persistent bodily symptoms that are not caused by physical disease
  • Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts

Anyone with bipolar disorder should be under the care of a psychiatrist skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of this disease.

Other mental health professionals, such as psychologists and psychiatric social workers, can assist in providing the patient and his or her family with additional approaches to treatment.

Symptoms of BIPOLAR | Bipolar Symptom | Bipolar Disorder Symptoms | wwwbipolar