Bipolar disorder is determined as a severe mental disorder that causes extreme and unexpected highs and lows in one’s mood. The highs are usually hypomania and manic episodes, while the lows are intense episodes of depression. At times, both episodes can occur simultaneously and patients feel ecstatic and depressed at the same time.
Experts have conducted research that showed that about 4% of adults experience bipolar disorder at some point in their lives. The intensity of their episodes may vary and some might not even notice it. The symptoms of bipolar disorder can occur between the ages of 18 to 29, but they can occur in childhood and old age as well.
Experts have to be very precise when diagnosing this disorder as it is not as obvious to discover. Daily activities and reactions of a person have to be monitored at all times to fully diagnose it.
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
Signs and symptoms vary from person to person, making it hard to diagnose. The right criteria to diagnose bipolar disorder is by its type. There are four types of bipolar disorder of which bipolar I and bipolar II are the most common.
A person experiencing manic episodes is considered to have bipolar I. The following events are considered manic:
- Extreme shifts in mood and behavior that are unlike the patient’s normal behavior.
- The manic episodes last all day or even a couple of days.
- The episode lasts one week and gets so extreme that the patient has to be hospitalized.
Patients with Bipolar I also experience depression episodes, but these are not required to diagnose this type. It is because Bipolar I mostly cater to manic episodes.
Bipolar II caters to both high and low episodes, but it is characterized by depressive episodes. Manic episodes are less severe and rare in bipolar II disorder. The following events are carefully observed when diagnosing bipolar II:
- The patient has experienced at least one major episode of depression.
- The patient has had at least one episode of hypomania.
- The patient does not have any other condition with similar symptoms.
These factors are taken into consideration when diagnosing bipolar II disorder.
Common Signs of Mania
The most common signs of mania include:
Feeling happy or high for a long period is considered a sign of bipolar disorder considering there is no reason to be high for that long. The elated feelings of excitement and euphoria are considered a major sign of bipolar disorder.
Lack of Sleep
Not feeling sleepy and staying awake for a long time without getting tired is a sign of bipolar disorder. Humans need 6 to 8 hours of sleep daily and sleeping any less than that is not good for their health.
Having a weird feeling about yourself and the surroundings even though when everything is normal signifies bipolar disorder.
Talking faster than usual and having racing thoughts in the mind may signify a bipolar disorder. The talking person may also continuously change topics without finishing or concluding the previous one.
Feeling extremely restless or impulsive for no apparent reason also signifies bipolar disorder for some patients.
Patients with bipolar disorder get easily distracted and indulge in activities without noticing that their mind has distracted them from the work or activity they were doing before.
Common Signs of Depression
The most common signs of depression include:
Having an intense feeling of hopelessness and sadness is a sign of bipolar disorder signifying depression.
Withdrawal from Family and Friends
A sudden urge of withdrawing from your family and friends and living in solitude is a sign of depression.
Losing interest in things you used to enjoy and love is a big sign that you are going into depression. It has been one of the prominent signs when diagnosing bipolar disorder.
Significant Change in Appetite
Experiencing a significant change in appetite, either little to no appetite or stress eating can signify that you are going through a period of depression.
Lack of Energy
Feeling severe fatigue or lack of energy even though you are eating and staying active often directs to depression and bipolar disorder.
Feeling Slowed Down
Feeling unable to perform simple tasks and slowed down from your general speed is a sign of depression. Episodes of depression can slow down your processing and make you feel fatigued at all times.
Talking slower and lesser than usual also signifies a depressive episode. Patients do not feel the urge to have a conversation and often stay quiet.
Change in Sleeping Patterns
In a depressive episode, patients often sleep the whole day or do not sleep at all. Oftentimes, they develop insomniac conditions that render their ability to sleep normally.
Having death and suicidal thoughts is the most prominent sign of severe depression. Patients with such signs are kept under supervision at all times to monitor their activities and keep them from killing themselves.
Common Signs in Teens and Children
The following signs of bipolar disorder are common in children and teens:
- Being hyperactive and more annoying than other kids
- Having extreme high and low moods that are not normal as compared to other kids
- Having severe mood changes that often impact their daily activities and
Signs in teens are:
- Be extremely happy or silly for a long time
- Easily lose temper
- Talk rapidly without making much sense
- Difficulty focusing on daily activities
- Having a hard time concentrating
- Having racing thoughts
- Being excessively interested in risky activities that other teens refrain from
These are the common signs of bipolar disorder that you should never ignore and talk to your doctor if you ever experience them at any point in life. It is always better to consult professionals for guidance. Book your appointment with the best psychologist in Lahore through for more information.