Bipolar disorder is an illness that seriously impacts the brain. This illness is also classified as manic depression. Individuals with bipolar disorder experience severe irregular mood changes: they can feel completely positive one minute and extremely down and negative the next. These episodes are the difference between what is described as manic and depressive. These individuals struggle to find balance between their moods each day and have little rhyme or reason that can pinpoint the onset or triggers that may send them down a negative path.
Bipolar disorder cannot be confused with the day to day moods that are normal for the human experience. Due to the chemical imbalance in the brain it is very difficult for individuals to find relief without treatment. These mood changes impact sleep, energy level, and the ability to think with a clear thought pattern. These symptoms can be dangerous because it impacts the individuals to make sound decisions which can lead to self-harm or endangerment.
Bipolar disorder can impact anyone but is more prone to start in late teens or early adulthood. The unfortunate reality about bipolar disorder is that the illness will last for the duration of an individual’s life. Futhermore, there is not a root cause for the development of bipolar disorder, but doctors attribute the development of the disorder to several factors like brain functionality or family history.
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar episodes can last for several days every day depending on the individual. These moods can impact sleep, employment, activity, behavior, or thoughts. These episodes tend to increase in intensity and energy can increase or decrease drastically. The following symptoms are broken down between manic episodes and depressive episodes.
People having a manic episode may experience:
- Wired or High feeling
- Increased activity
- Talking fast about random topics
- Easily irritated
- Risk taking
People having a depressive episode may experience:
- Depressed or hopeless
- Loss of interest
- Decrease in appetite followed by weight loss or increase in appetite followed by weight gain
- Insomnia or Oversleeping
- Feelings of guilt
- Failure to think or concentrate
- Suicidal thoughts
Signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder may change during seasons or with pregnancy. These symptoms can be severe or mild and may produce episodes of anxiousness and distress.
Symptoms of bipolar disorder are not as easy to identify in children and teens and can be confused with the typical mood swings that teens experience as they grow. Bipolar disorder in children and teens can also be difficult to diagnose if a child has experienced trauma or is under extreme stress. Their symptoms may be distinct and different from that of an adult and many children can experience lapses between their episodes, while adults may not. Most children and teens experience rapid changes during their manic and depressive episodes. The key to identifying bipolar symptoms in teens is recognizing consistent mood changes.
Individuals with bipolar disorder may struggle to identify their symptoms because they are able to be productive most days. However, these periods are followed by a distinctive downward spiral that send the individuals into extensive bouts of depression.
Find Healing in Treatment
If you have any symptoms of bipolar disorder, please seek help from a mental health professional or doctor. Bipolar disorder is treatable but requires proper diagnosis and subsequent treatment plan. Through treatment, many individuals experience relief and can lead a normal life.