Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorders are characterized by alternating bouts of depression and mania. Depression is a condition characterized by having severe low moods and a diminished ability to experience pleasure. Mania, on the other hand, is characterized by an extremely elevated mood and energy. In people with bipolar disorder, both these episodes may occur in a cyclical manner without the person’s control.

The Problem

The problem with bipolar disorders is that it can be difficult for a person and even the people around him or her to recognize. This disorder can sometimes mask itself as a problem caused by stress and the environment other than a mental illness. Bipolar disorder can mask itself as a problem brought about by substance abuse such as drug or alcohol, sometimes never even to occur to as a problem of the mind.

Symptoms of bipolar disorders

There are various symptoms that people with bipolar disorders display. It will depend on what type of episode they are in. An bipolar episode can either be of an elevated mood swing or one that would put one into a major depressive state. An elevated mood state is also known in bipolar disorder patients as a manic episode.

Manic Episode Symptoms

A Manic episode is a period wherein a person is in an elevated, energetic and even in an irritable mood. The episode last for as short as one week to as long as six months. There are a variety of symptoms that a manic episode may display. One would be having the person feel a sense of grandiosity and inflated self-esteem. A manic episode can make a person feel that he or she has boundless energy ans thus, has a decreased need for sleep.

People with manic episodes also become more talkative than usual or pressure others to keep talking. Manic episodes can also draw a person’s attention to mundane or irrelevant things, sometimes making them look weird to some people. A manic episode can also make one experience overactive thinking with thoughts going through the mind at a quicker and faster pace.

Depressive Episode Symptoms

Bipolar disorder patient may change from a manic episode to a major depressive episode. This condition is characterized by the person always being in a very low mood with a severe loss of interest in most things and activities. This episode can last for at least two weeks and can stay that way for months. Symptoms include a marked loss of interest in things that previously the person enjoys doing among most other things. This loss of interest can also lead further to a loss of appetite with its subsequent weight loss.

Depressive individuals may suffer from insomnia almost on a daily basis and may experience weakness and a serious loss of energy. Feelings of worthlessness and guilt floods the mind of a person in a depressed episode. Diminished ability to focus and concentrate may also be experienced along with recurrent thoughts of hopelessness and death.