An individual’s mood, energy level, and capacity for function can alter as a result of bipolar illness, a brain disorder. Bipolar disorder patients go through strong emotional states known as mood episodes, which often happen over discrete intervals of days to weeks. Manic/hypomanic (an abnormally cheerful or angry mood) or depression are the two classifications for these mood episodes (sad mood). Most bipolar patients also have periods of neutral mood. Bipolar disease sufferers can live full and productive lives if given the right treatment.
Even those who do not have bipolar disorder go through mood swings. These mood swings, meanwhile, usually only last a few hours as opposed to days. Furthermore, unlike during mood episodes, these alterations are typically not accompanied by the significant degree of behavior change or difficulties adjusting to regular activities and social interactions that bipolar illness sufferers exhibit. A person with bipolar disorder may experience difficulties at work or at school, as well as in their relationships with their loved ones.
Three distinct diagnoses fall under the umbrella of bipolar disorder: bipolar I, bipolar II, and cyclothymic disorder.
Eighty to ninety percent of those with bipolar disorder have a family member who also has the condition or is depressed. Stress, irregular sleep patterns, narcotics, and alcohol can all cause mood swings in persons who are already vulnerable. Although the exact brain-based origins of bipolar disorder are unknown, dysregulated brain activity is thought to be caused by a chemical imbalance. 25 years old on average is the onset age.
Anxiety disorders, substance use disorders, and/or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder are typically present in people with bipolar I disorder (ADHD). Compared to the general population, those with bipolar I disorder have a much-increased risk of suicide.
Bipolar illness patients might experience extreme highs of happiness and vigor as well as extreme lows of melancholy, hopelessness, and sluggishness. Usually, people feel normal in the intervals between those times. Bipolar disorder is so named because the highs and lows can be compared to two “poles” of emotion.
What Are the Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder?
The extreme mood swings of bipolar disorder do not occur in a predictable way. Before shifting to the opposite mood, a person may experience the same mood state (depressed or manic) multiple times. These episodes can take place over the course of several weeks, months, or even years.
The degree to which it worsens varies from person to person and can also alter over time, worsening or lessening.
Mania symptoms (“the highs”):
- Making grand and unrealistic plans
- Rapid speech and poor concentration
- Excessive happiness, hopefulness, and excitement
- Showing poor judgment
- Less of an appetite
- Sudden changes from being joyful to being irritable, angry, and hostile
- Increased energy and less need for sleep
- Unusually high sex drive
- Becoming more impulsive
- Less need for sleep
- A larger sense of self-confidence and well-being
- Being easily distracted
- Drug and alcohol abuse
During depressive periods (“the lows”), a person with bipolar disorder may have:
- Inability to feel pleasure
- Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
- Loss of energy
- Not enjoying things they once liked
- Trouble concentrating
- Talking slowly
- Less of a sex drive
- Uncontrollable crying
- Trouble making decisions
- Appetite changes that make you lose or gain weight
- Thoughts of death or suicide
- Attempting suicide
- Needing more sleep
Misuse of drugs or alcohol can increase the number of episodes in people with bipolar disorder of any kind. It comes in a variety of forms. A dual diagnosis, or having both bipolar disorder and alcohol use disorder, necessitates assistance from a specialist who can handle both problems.