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Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder18,267 Views
What is Bipolar Disorder? will start in
What is bipolar disorder? This mental disorder affects a significant portion of the population in the United States. Find out more about this by watching this video.
Description: Bipolar disorder is characterized by periods of mania and depression. Watch our video and find out about the symptoms of bipolar disorder in detail.
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Nearly six million Americans suffer from Bipolar Disorder, yet studies suggest it may take up to 10 years before the illness is accurately diagnosed. So how can you tell if you, or someone you care about, is suffering from Bipolar Disorder? Identifying and understanding the symptoms of Bipolar Disorder is essential for helping sufferers, and their families, find effective treatment and cope with the illness. However, Bipolar Disorder is a complex disorder and the symptoms may vary in frequency and intensity from one person to another. Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder are distinctly different from the emotional ups and downs that are a normal part of life. The primary symptoms of Bipolar Disorder are dramatic and unpredictable mood swings, from extreme highs to equally extreme lows. These mood swings are called “episodes.” Symptoms of these mood swings may often include extreme changes in emotional state, energy levels, as well as sleeping and eating patterns, depending on whether they’re experiencing a manic or hypomanic episode, or a depressive one. Symptoms of mania may include hyperactivity, decreased need for sleep, sudden euphoria or rage, inflated self-esteem, extreme arrogance, racing thoughts, difficulty concentrating, along with virtually non-stop speech, with the person jumping suddenly from one thought to another. Manic symptoms such as these may often be disregarded as traits of an eccentric, outgoing, negative or risk-taking personality. However, there are additional symptoms of mania that may result in significantly more serious consequences, such as impulsive spending, gambling, risky sexual behavior and even stealing. Mania may be so severe that it causes a psychotic break from reality. Symptoms of psychosis may range from hearing voices to sufferers believing themselves to be godlike, invincible, the victim of a conspiracy, or having a special connection with a celebrity or political figure. Another symptom of Bipolar Disorder is hypomania, which is a milder, less severe form of mania. Hypomania may be challenging to recognize because it may masquerade as heightened creativity and productivity, or as well as happiness, high energy or optimism. Those with Bipolar Disorder also experience symptoms of depression to varying degrees. These symptoms typically include persistent sadness, hopelessness, pessimism, loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed, decreased energy or fatigue, as well as thoughts of death or suicide. Studies suggest depression symptoms tend to be predominant in most types of Bipolar Disorder. In addition, these symptoms may occur more frequently and with greater intensity in comparison to manic or hypomanic symptoms. Other symptoms of Bipolar Disorder may include “mixed episodes,” in which sufferers may experience the highs and lows of the illness simultaneously. Mixed episode symptoms may include sadness or hopelessness in conjunction with feeling extremely energized, as well as agitation, appetite changes and difficulty sleeping. If you recognize yourself or someone you know in the symptoms described here, please see a mental health professional.