The emotional pendulum that bipolar disorder subjects its sufferers to can easily lead to severe life problems. No-one feels exactly the same from day to day or even hour to hour, but the shifts in mood and energy bipolar disorder causes can have a significant impact on a person’s ability to deal with day to day activities and issues. Reading through the following articles will help inform you about what bipolar disorder is, what can cause it and what you can do about it.
Do you sometimes find yourself experiencing intense moments of joy and happiness followed by a sense of debilitating despair or depression? Do you ever grapple with a myriad of emotions and find yourself wondering if there’s something wrong with you or fear that you’re going crazy? Are you full of energy one day and can hardly get out of bed the next? If you’ve answered yes to these questions, you might have bipolar disorder.
This might all sound confusing but being bipolar does not mean you’re crazy. It simply means you have an illness that needs to be treated. Unfortunately it is not a curable illness, it is a serious condition and needs proper medical treatment as soon as possible. But it is also an illness that can be managed well by seeking treatment and using the appropriate medication and you can go on to lead a completely normal life.
Bipolar disorder, the signs & symptoms
Even though mania and hypomania are categorized as two separate kinds of episodes, they share very similar characteristics and the symptoms are largely the same. Of the two, mania is more dangerous and severe. It can lead to a psychosis and hospitalization. In order to be diagnosed with a hypomanic or manic episode, at least three or more of the following symptoms have to be present:
- Very high levels of energy, overly active and agitated
- Unusually upbeat, too happy, too cheerful
- Extremely talkative, fast-paced
- Being distracted
- Sense of euphoria, of being invincible
- Problems sleeping i.e. needing less sleep
- Thoughts are racing and jumping from idea to the next
- Reckless, irresponsible behavior i.e. spending a lot of money, going on a shopping spree or abusing drugs and alcohol
- Very high sex drive, engaging in promiscuous behavior