Symptoms and Signs of Bipolar Disorder

2013 Bipolar Update

Symptoms and Signs of Bipolar Disorder

Individuals who suffer from bipolar disorder have to come to terms with the various symptoms of the illness. For a number of individuals who are not familiar with the diagnosis, it can be difficult to tell the difference between normal mood swings and a bipolar episode. In fact, in majority of cases, it is not the individual who notices the symptoms and signs of bipolar disorder but their friends, family and loved ones. As such, it is important that everyone learns about the different symptoms and signs of bipolar disorder before the individuals who have the disorder harm themselves or others.

The exact symptoms and signs of bipolar disorder can be grouped as either manic or depression symptoms. Mania and depression are the two episodes that characterize bipolar disorder. While the shift from one episode to the next may be rapid or slow, the change in symptoms should alert individuals as well as their loved ones that they may have bipolar disorder. Moreover, monitoring this shift in mood will help physicians know whether or not the prescribed medications are working.

One of the most common symptoms of mania is an abnormally elevated mood. When an individual is manic, they may have increased energy and can be excited to enthusiasm as well as other emotions such as anger and agitation. As a result of the increased energy, the individual may have a decreased need for sleep and may also experience restlessness. Individuals who are experiencing a manic episode may overindulge and if left, unchecked could end up harming themselves as a result of their condition.

Depression is often described as the downswing of bipolar disorder while mania is the upswing. As such, depression is considered to be one of the primary signs of bipolar disorder. Individuals who experience bipolar depression may experience suicidal thoughts and may act on these thoughts if they are not on their medication.

Some of the warning symptoms and signs of bipolar disorder that individuals should look for when experiencing bipolar depression include a in decrease energy or lethargy, insomnia as well as a general loss of interest in physical activities that were once appealing. Depressed individuals may also find themselves withdrawing socially as they want to be left alone.

There are also physical symptoms and signs of bipolar disorder that you should look for. These include aches and pain that have unexplained causes, loss or gain of weight, as well as a lack of appetite. It should be noted that some individuals with bipolar disorder experience increased appetite when they are manic or depressed.

While the symptoms and signs of bipolar disorder are certainly worrying, it should be noted that they are easily controlled through the administration of prescribed medication such as mood stabilizers and antidepressants. Moreover, studies have shown that therapy sessions have been quite effective in helping affected individuals deal with the symptoms and signs of bipolar disorder.