Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression, is a mental illness characterized by sweeping changes in mood. These changes can range from “high” feelings of intense excitement to “low” feelings of despair. There are four types of this disorder: bipolar I, bipolar II, cyclothymic disorder (also known as cyclothymia), and bipolar disorder unspecified. While all types share basic symptoms, each type is diagnosed based on length and intensity of mood swings.
Manic Episodes and Mania
The mania stage of bipolar disorder is a very high-energy state. During a manic episode, speech could quicken. People with this disorder might not finish sentences and bounce from topic to topic rapidly. Reckless and dangerous actions, like spending beyond their means or drinking excessively, is another sign of a manic episode.
A depressive episode isn’t just about feeling sad. Being upset by a breakup or grieving a difficult loss are natural, healthy responses. For people with bipolar disorder, a depressive episode can make going about daily life a struggle. They often feel unmotivated and easily irritated.
Changes in Typical Behaviors
Another sign of bipolar disorder is a marked change in behavior. The person who once functioned on seven hours of sleep suddenly stays in bed for twice that, for weeks at a time, then catapults into all-night episodes of talking and activity. Look for complete departures in conduct and in personality.
Disrupted Sleep Schedule
A common symptom of bipolar disorder is a change in sleeping patterns. this disorder mania causes loss of sleep. Bipolar depression can cause a loss of sleep, too. Depression may also cause someone to sleep for hours during times of the day they’d previously functioned normally.
Thoughts of Self-Harm
The Treatment Advocacy Center, a nonprofit that lobbies on behalf of those with mental illness, points out that suicide is the first cause of premature death among people with this disorder. During episodes of intense feelings, it can be hard for people with this disorder to shake the idea of self-harm.
Many of us don’t complete tasks from time to time. Maybe you spend the afternoon raking leaves but just can’t get around to bagging them. That’s normal. Someone suffering from bipolar disorder could leave just about any task unfinished, most of the time. This could happen during a manic episode, because the mind is jumping from one idea to another quickly.
Many of us don’t complete tasks from time to time. Maybe you spend the afternoon raking leaves but just can’t get around to bagging them. That’s normal. Someone suffering from bipolar disorder could leave just about any task unfinished, most of the time.