You have most likely heard someone say something like, “Stop being so bipolar.” While referencing the simple word, “bipolar”, may not seem like a big deal, it has the potential of hurting someone who has Bipolar Disorder. If you are unfamiliar with Bipolar Disorder, it is a psychological disorder that alters the way someone thinks, acts, and feels. People with Bipolar Disorder experience extreme emotions, which heavily impact the way they function.
Although most Bipolar Disorder episodes occur during teenage years, the first signs could occur in early adulthood to late adulthood. Also, most people who have Bipolar Disorder, have a family history of it. So, if you have a history of Bipolar Disorder in your family, you may want to get evaluated. Since Bipolar Disorder has the potential of extremely hindering the way that you function, it is important to diagnose it as soon as possible. Once Bipolar Disorder is diagnosed, the person with it can be put on medication to help regulate their brain chemistry. So, here are nine symptoms of Bipolar Disorder:
1. Unusually Cheerful
If you find yourself unusually cheerful, or overly excited, then you may have Bipolar Disorder. But, don’t be alarmed if you wake up, and feel happy for no reason. That happens to everyone, once in a while. But, if you find yourself unusually cheerful for an extended period of time, you could be experiencing a manic episode. Another huge sign of Bipolar Disorder, related to having an overly cheerful mood, is waking up and feeling completely ready to take on the day, even though you only slept for a few hours.
2. Instantaneously Switching from Being Happy to Feeling Depressed or Irritable
After feeling overly happy for a few days, you may wake up one day and instantaneously feel depressed or irritable. This signals that you are beginning to go through a depression phase. Going through a roller coaster of extreme highs, and then extreme lows, is extremely common in people with Bipolar Disorder. Some other characteristics of someone going through a depression phase, of Bipolar Disorder, are; feelings of hopelessness, excessive crying, and feeling too exhausted to even get up. Finally, while people with depression usually treat their depression with Antidepressants, this is not recommended for people with Bipolar Disorder.
3.) Abusing Alcohol or Drugs
While someone with Bipolar Disorder is going through an extremely high or extremely low phase, they often turn to abusing various substances. The person uses alcohol or drugs as a way to cope with the extremely depressive phase, or to keep feeling like they are invincible during an extremely cheerful phase.
4.) Having Unhealthy Sleep Habits
During manic and depression phases, people with Bipolar Disorder often experience irregular sleeping patterns. While in the manic phase, you will most likely have difficulty sleeping, and if you happen to fall asleep, you will most likely sleep for only a few hours at a time. But, during a depression phase, instead of not being able to fall asleep, you will feel extremely tired, and will have little to no energy.
5.) Never Carrying Out a Project
During manic phases, you will feel a spark of creativity, which will lead you to begin a lot of new projects. These projects can relate to anything, such as; writing a book, redecorating your house, building a new piece of furniture, making a film, or starting a new hobby. Over the course of your manic phase, you will work consistently on a designated project. But, as you go into a depression phase, your interest in that specific project, will begin to dwindle. This will cause you to eventually lose complete interest in the project, and never finish it.
6.) Unusual Spontaneity and Irrational Behavior
Experiencing unusual spontaneity and irrational behavior can be a huge indicator of someone going through a manic phase. Some of the reckless spontaneous and irrational things that can occur, during a manic phase, include; excessively spending money, randomly investing in large purchases, quitting your job for no reason, mixing drugs and alcohol, and acting invincible.
7. Having Trouble Concentrating
There is a difference between procrastinating and having extreme trouble concentrating or focusing. People without Bipolar Disorder tend to procrastinate assignments, and other things, but will be able to complete them within a few hours. But, people with Bipolar Disorder, during a depression phase, tend to be unable to begin or finish daily tasks.
8. Having Racing Thoughts
If someone unexpectedly begins to talk extremely fast, about various topics, and finds themselves having racing thoughts, then they may have Bipolar Disorder. During a manic phase, you will talk extremely fast, and will move quickly from one subject to another. Having racing thoughts will also interfere with their sleeping habits, because you won’t be able to turn their mind off.
9. Feeling Depressed and Manic at Once
Finally, you could experience manic feelings, as well as depression all at once. If you have these symptoms, then this is a huge indicator that you have Bipolar Disorder.
If you have experienced a few of these symptoms, it is extremely important that you seek help. Bipolar Disorder is extremely serious, and if it is left untreated, it can lead to suicide. While most people think that depression is the leading cause of suicide, it is actually Bipolar Disorder. Thus, it is extremely important that Bipolar Disorder is not brushed over or left untreated. Once you seek help from a medical professional, you will most likely be prescribed medicine. Aside from medicine, you can also use diet habits, physical activity, breathing exercises, and other techniques to help your Bipolar Disorder. Overall, the symptoms of Bipolar Disorder can sometimes be overwhelming and challenging to get through. But, you don’t have to sit on the sidelines and watch your friends and family lead happy and successful lives while you suffer in silence. So, don’t be afraid to seek help, because once you do, you will begin to live a happy, healthy, and successful life.