Descriptions Signs of Bipolar Disorder:
When it comes to mental illness, there are plenty of stereotypes. But in reality, mood disorders can be hard to pinpoint—particularly in people with bipolar disorder symptoms.
Here are 10 signs that mood problems may be due to more than a quirky or difficult personality.
1. always happy
Bipolar disorder is characterized by up-and-down episodes of mania and depression. During a manic phase, some patients can have a total break from reality. But hypomania, which is also a symptom of the disorder, is a high-energy state in which a person feels exuberant but hasn’t lost his or her grip on reality. A person’s mood can be elevated, they may have a lot of energy and creativity, and they may experience euphoria. This is the "up" side of bipolar disorder that some people with the condition actually enjoy—while it lasts.
Having a house full of half-completed projects is a hallmark of bipolar disorder. People who can harness their energy when they are in a hypomanic phase can be really productive. Those who can’t often go from task to task, planning grand, unrealistic projects that are never finished before moving on to something else.
A person who is in a bipolar depressive state is going to look just like someone who has regular depression.
Unfortunately, typical antidepressants alone don't work well in patients who are bipolar. They can even make people cycle more frequently, worsening their condition, or send someone into a break-with-reality episode. "Antidepressants can be downright dangerous in people with bipolar because they can send them into mania," he says.
Some people with this condition suffer from "mixed mania," where they experience symptoms of mania and depression at the same time. During this state, they are often extremely irritable. Everyone has badd days, which is one reason this kind of bipolarity is much harder to recognize.
5. rapid speech
Some people are naturally talkative; we all know a motormouth or Chatty Cathy. But "pressured speech" is one of the most common symptoms of bipolar disorder. This kind of speech occurs when someone is really not in a two-way conversation. The person will talk rapidly and if you try to speak, they will likely just talk over you.
6. work problems
People with this disorder often have difficulty in the workplace because so many of their symptoms can interfere with their ability to show up for work, do their job, and interact productively with others. In addition to having problems completing tasks, they may have difficulty sleeping, irritability, and an inflated ego during a manic phase, and depression at other times, which causes excessive sleeping and additional mood problems. A lot of the workplace problems can be interpersonal ones, Dr. Malone says.
7. alcohol man
About 50% of people with bipolar disorder also have a substance abuse problem, particularly alcohol use, Dr. Bearden says. Many people will drink when they are in a manic phase to slow themselves down, and use alcohol to improve their mood when they are depressed.
When they are in a manic phase, people with bipolar disorder can have an inflated self-esteem. "They feel grandiose and don't consider consequences; everything sounds good to them. Two of the most common types of behavior that can result from this are spending sprees and unusual sexuall behavior.
9. lack sleep
People with this condition often have sleep problems. During a depression phase, they may sleep too much, and feel tired all the time. During a manic phase, they may not sleep enough—but still never feel tired. Even with just a few hours of sleep each night, they may feel great and have lots of energy.
10. flight of ideas
This symptom may be something that is hard to recognize, but it occurs frequently when someone is in a manic phase. People feel like their mind is racing and that they can't control or slow down their thoughts. This flight of ideas sometimes occurs with pressured speech. People with bipolar may not recognize or admit that their mind is racing out of control, says Dr. Bearden.
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