Bipolar disorder can be very confusing and disconcerting for the person who has the condition, as well as the people who love them. There are periods of mania, followed by periods of depression, and if there is a middle ground, there is only a very short stop there. In fact, there really isn’t ever a stop in the middle ground. It’s more like a drive-by on the way to either mania or depression. There are symptoms of mania and depression, associated with bipolar disorder that you should be aware of.
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder – Mania
When a person is in the mania state of bipolar – or headed towards it – they will seemingly have an increased amount of energy. They may even become very creative. They appear to be ‘on top of the world.’ They may talk very fast and get little sleep during this period.
While this may seem ideal, it isn’t. It can be just as dangerous as depression, because it is during the mania period that the bipolar person feels invincible, and is more likely to take unnecessary risks. During this period, the person may engage in risky sexual behavior, gamble, partake of drugs, or make bad decisions that they wouldn’t normally make. Other signs of mania include being irritable, racing thoughts, inability to concentrate,
The period between the middle ground, or what we consider normal, and mania is actually referred to as hypomania. In this state, the person still feels all of that energy and creativity, but they are still capable of making good decisions and they don’t tend to take as many risks. Impulsiveness, disregard for consequences, delusions, or hallucinations.
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder – Depression
The symptoms of bipolar disorder depression are much the same as the symptoms of non-bipolar depression. The only real difference between the two is the way that the depression is treated. Researchers are agreeing more and more that antidepressants do not have a positive effect on those who are suffering from bipolar disorder depression.
The most common symptoms of bipolar disorder depression include feeling hopeless or sad, being irritable, the inability to express any happy emotions, fatigue, changes in appetite, trouble sleeping or excessive sleeping, trouble concentrating, being forgetful, and thoughts of death or suicide.
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder – Mixed
When a person is having a mixed episode of bipolar disorder, they will actually demonstrate symptoms of mania and depression. They will be very irritable or agitated. They may suffer from anxiety. Insomnia is very common. Their thoughts may race and they are easily distracted. This is the most dangerous period of bipolar disorder, as this is when a person is most likely to commit suicide.