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Warning Signs of Bipolar Disorder5,073 Views
Diagnosing and Treating Bipolar Disorder will start in
Do you know that bipolar disorder cannot be diagnosed with a blood test or brain scan? Diagnosis occurs after a close examination of symptoms. Watch the video on diagnosing and treating bipolar disorder to learn more.
Description: Irrational irritability, feelings of despair and reckless behavior are a few of the major warning signs of bipolar disorder. Check out this video to learn more.
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Emotional highs and lows are a normal part of life. But unpredictable moods that shift from frenzied euphoria to the sadness, withdrawal and hopelessness of depression are NOT normal. When are these symptoms warning signs of Bipolar Disorder? Nearly six million Americans are affected by Bipolar Disorder, also known as manic depression. Characterized by dramatic mood swings between opposite poles of mania (or hypomania) and depression, this disorder can result in reckless behavior, damaged relationships, debilitating depression and thoughts of death or suicide. While mood swings don't NECESSARILY mean Bipolar Disorder, behavioral extremes such as talking incessantly, excessive overconfidence and promiscuity, or fatigue, despair and withdrawal MAY be strong indicators of the illness. Similarly, when a person's mood seems to change from feeling on top of the world and loving life one moment, to feeling completely worthless and detached the next, Bipolar Disorder MAY be the culprit. These intense up and down mood swings are called "episodes," and a person with Bipolar Disorder may experience extreme changes in emotional state, energy levels, and sleeping and eating patterns, depending on whether they're in a manic or hypomanic episode, or experiencing a depressive episode. Warning signs of bipolar mania may include: rapid, virtually non-stop speech, with the person jumping suddenly from one thought to another. Irrational anger and irritability, extreme arrogance, inflated self-esteem, unrealistic goals, difficulty concentrating and a significantly decreased need for sleep may also signal mania. Other, more serious signs of mania typically involve extravagant spending and alcohol or drug abuse, as well as impulsive acts such as gambling, stealing, or inappropriate and risky sexual behavior. Signs of severe mania may be even more serious-and obvious-including delusions that can range from feeling invincible or godlike, to hearing voices. Sufferers may also believe they're the victim of a conspiracy, or have a special connection with a celebrity or political figure. In contrast, signs of hypomania, a milder, less severe form of mania, may not be so easy to identify because it may often be overlooked as simply an outgoing, energetic and optimistic personality. A person experiencing hypomania may also be highly productive and creative. These characteristics often result in hypomania appearing as a pleasant state, rather than a problem. However, studies show hypomania can also result in severe agitation, anger and irritability, and may evolve into mania or even serious depression. Warning signs of Bipolar Disorder also include depression symptoms, such as persistent sadness, hopelessness, pessimism, loss of interest in activities once enjoyed, withdrawal from friends and family, decreased energy, anger, irritability, changes in eating or sleeping habits, and preoccupation with death or suicide. If you recognize yourself or someone you know in the signs and symptoms described here, please see a mental health professional.