Bipolar is a mental illness characterized by spontaneous mood swings. Bipolar disorder is one of the most misunderstood mental health conditions out there. Many people think this is an ordinary emotion, but if it is not treated immediately it can be dangerous for the sufferer.
Here are 5 facts about bipolar that we need to know:
1. Bipolar disorder is a mental illness characterized by dramatic changes in mood and behavior
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), these changes are referred to as “mood episodes.” There are two main types of episodes, namely manic episodes and depressive episodes (which is why bipolar disorder used to be called manic depression). Between these episodes, a person with bipolar disorder may experience emotional changes without symptoms of mania or depression.
2. Episodes of bipolar depression
Bipolar depressive episodes tend to be very similar to classic depression. Without knowing a person’s medical history, it is nearly impossible to determine if their depression is caused by bipolar disorder or something like major depressive disorder. But in general terms, the NIMH highlights these as the following signs and symptoms of a bipolar depressive episode:
- The energy is very low
- Activity level decreases
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Losing enjoyment in activities
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Feeling worried or empty
- Eating too little or too much
- Trouble concentrating or remembering something
- Have suicidal thoughts
- A severe depressive episode can also involve psychosis that involves delusions or hallucinations, according to the NIMH.
3. Manic episodes that are more complicated than just happy
Experiencing mania doesn’t necessarily mean someone is running around, feeling invincible, and happy, says Dr. Malaspina. As explained by the NIMH, there are many different signs and symptoms of mania, including:
- The energy is very high
- Increased activity level
- Feel restless
- Feelings of joy
- Feelings of restlessness or irritability
- Feelings of overconfidence
- Hard to sleep
- Talking very fast
- Trying to do too many things at once
- Engaging in risky behavior, such as taking unwanted sexual or financial risks or vice versa.
4. Hypomania, which can involve many of the same symptoms of mania, but on a less severe scale
Hypomania, which is when a person does not have a full manic episode, but only a few symptoms on a lighter scale. Some people have experienced hypomania, but they may also experience intense mania which can eventually be dangerous. Extravagant thoughts can also develop into delusions.
5. People can experience symptoms of mania and depression at the same time
These mixed episodes involve high levels of energy and manic activity, as well as hopelessness and depression. This is a very high risk situation because people with bipolar disorder will feel like they have all the extra energy and think about hurting themselves.
For that we need to recognize the signs of bipolar disorder, so that more intensive treatment can be done from the nearest doctor.