How do I know if I am bipolar?

Updated on : January 20, 2022 by Deandre Gray



How do I know if I am bipolar?

With regard to mental illness, it is very difficult to tell some specific and obvious signs and symptoms of the illness, and especially in the case of bipolar disorder, it is almost impossible to give a clear signal of mood episodes. Here, citing the words of Carrie Bearden, PhD, associate professor in residence of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and psychology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA: He says that: “Attributing it to bad mood or problems at work or tiredness It's very common. The disorder varies in severity. "

Here are ten signs of bipolar disorder:

1. Good mood:

Act

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With regard to mental illness, it is very difficult to tell some specific and obvious signs and symptoms of the illness, and especially in the case of bipolar disorder, it is almost impossible to give a clear signal of mood episodes. Here, citing the words of Carrie Bearden, PhD, associate professor in residence of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and psychology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA: He says that: “Attributing it to bad mood or problems at work or tiredness It's very common. The disorder varies in severity. "

Here are ten signs of bipolar disorder:

1. Good mood:

In reality, bipolar disorder is ascending episodes of mania and depression, and especially during the manic episode, the patient is completely isolated from reality. Another sign of bipolar disorder is hypomania in which the patient feels excited and their spirits are quite high and their energy is also very high but they are still in full control of reality.

Dr. Bearden says about hypomania that it is quite a pleasant state and patients enjoy it because they have a lot of energy. Your mood is elevated in this state, you experience much more energy than normal in them, and your sense of creativity also increases. This state can lead the patient to the state of euphoria, which is the top bar of bipolar disorder, as patients enjoy this state of bipolar disorder.

2. Laziness or inability to complete pending tasks:

The most important and obvious sign of bipolar disorder is a lot of work and to-dos, but patients who have the ability to use their high energies in the hypomanic phase have proven to be very productive and fruitful.

Don Malone, MD, director of the Center for Behavioral Health and chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, says about people who did not go step by step to complete their assignments, plan big ideas, unreal projects, and leave them incomplete. that: "They can be quite distracted and can start a million things and never finish them."

3. Depression:

The depressive phase of bipolar disorder is the same as that of normal depression. Dr. Malone says that: “They have the same problems with energy, appetite, sleep and concentration as others who suffer from depression outright. Antidepressants can be downright dangerous for people with bipolar disorder because they can lead to mania. "

Antidepressants alone did not cure depression in bipolar patients, they can even worsen their condition and send them into an episode of breaking with reality.

4. Irritation:

Some bipolar disorder patients have to deal with mixed mania in which they have to go through the symptoms of both mania and depression. In this state of mixed mania, the patient is quite irritable.

Everyone has the possibility of having problems in their life and therefore they can also be irritable, but they are not bipolar patients. That is why this sign of bipolarity is the most difficult to detect. Dr. Bearden says of this situation that: “We are all irritable or cranky at times, but in people with bipolar disorder it often becomes so severe that it interferes with their relationships, especially if the person says, 'I don't know why. I'm so irritable ... I can't control it. "

5. Pressed speech:

There are some people who naturally have the ability to talk a lot whom we call conversationalists, motorists, or conversationalists. But pressured speech is something different and is the most important sign of bipolar disorder.

According to Dr. Bearden, this situation occurs when the patient is not really in a two-way conversation. They try to speak faster than you and if you want to say a word, they will likely speak for you. They also jump on various topics that are totally irrelevant to the topic that is already being discussed, but the point to ponder is when the person does it when they are not in the habit of doing it. They mostly do it when they are in a manic phase.

6. Problems at work:

Bipolar disorder patients have to deal with quite difficult problems in their workplace because many of the signs of their disorder become an obstacle to their ability to work and interact positively with others.

Along with the problems mentioned above, they also have difficulty sleeping, irritability and a high ego during the manic phase and during depression they suffer from excessive sleepiness and other mood problems. According to Dr. Malone, most problems in the workplace are interpersonal.

7. Drug abuse:

Dr. Bearden says that about 50% of bipolar disorder patients are also involved in some substance abuse problem, especially alcohol.

People use it in both the manic and depressed phases, to slow down in the earlier phase and elevate their mood in the later phase.

8. Erratic behavior:

During the manic phase of bipolar disorder, the patient has a swollen self-esteem and ego. Dr. Malone says that: “They feel great and don't consider the consequences; it all sounds good to them. "

When the patient goes through this phase, he shows two types of behaviors of the most: one is involved in revelry and the second is an increased and unexpected sexual behavior.

Dr. Malone further cited that: “I have had a number of patients who have had adventures that they would never have had if they weren't in a manic episode… during this episode they exhibited behavior that is not consistent with what they would normally do. "

9. Trouble sleeping:

Bipolar patients often have trouble sleeping, such as when they are in a depressive phase, they can sleep a lot, even too much, and feel tired most of the time.

Contrary to this, during a manic phase, they don't get enough sleep and still don't feel tired. Being in a manic phase, you feel great and energetic even with a few hours of sleep. Dr. Bearden suggests a programmed dream for a patient with bipolar disorder.

10. Flight of ideas:

This sign of bipolar disorder is difficult to detect, but it occurs mainly when the person is in a manic phase. His mind feels like racing and the patient cannot control or slow down his thoughts and ideas.

This flight of ideas is accompanied by pressured speech (the bipolar patient never admits that his mind is racing or that his ideas are out of his control).

Read more about bipolar disorder here: Bipolar disorder

"A 40-year journey towards diagnosis"

(Note: As I read some of the answers, I felt it was necessary to add something to be able to distinguish between hypomania and mania. These episodes are not the same thing, and mania is more than just an elevation of the mood. It would be nice if we could choose the emotions and accomplishments of these episodes, but we can't. Most of what mania understands will end up being bad, bad, bad).

My answer mirrors that of some of the respondents. I am BP I, and I remain hypomanic most of the time, even with medications. I fast cycle and continue to visit depression regularly.

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"A 40-year journey towards diagnosis"

(Note: As I read some of the answers, I felt it was necessary to add something to be able to distinguish between hypomania and mania. These episodes are not the same thing, and mania is more than just an elevation of the mood. It would be nice if we could choose the emotions and accomplishments of these episodes, but we can't. Most of what mania understands will end up being bad, bad, bad).

My answer mirrors that of some of the respondents. I am BP I, and I remain hypomanic most of the time, even with medications. I fast cycle and continue to visit depression regularly. For 35 years, I did not have a diagnosis or an idea of ​​my problems. Looking back, I find it amazing that he could be so blind. Now I know that this conceptual handicap is part of the disease.

I already had symptoms in my childhood. Later, it would be interpreted as a "Type A" personality, a common "diagnosis" at the time (1966). This label would last for many years. Moody was a less academic description and I'm sure most people see me that way. I know for a fact that the elementary and middle school teachers thought of me as a motivated student which was a bit unusual.

I have different memories of feeling frantic and angry as a teenager. He was overly competitive, outrageous jealous, daring, and foolish. He often had an exaggerated sense of superiority, which was fueled by numerous academic, musical, and sporting achievements. At 16 I started to abuse alcohol ... approx. 1963. The use of alcohol, of course, was self-medicating, and this would continue for almost 30 years.

In the second month of my freshman year in college, I was asked to see a psychiatrist due to erratic behavior and a show of rules. It was then that I was formally diagnosed as Type A. At the time, it was thought that women needed protection. I certainly expected to be sanctioned, but my actions had a paradoxical effect. I was given a freedom that no other student was given. I went on to excel at almost everything. I became a Student Lesgisture representative, was a star in field hockey, got excellent grades, and got a chemistry assistant. But all of this would come to an end in the second semester of my sophomore year. In October of my junior year, in deep depression, I was failing all my courses and dropped out of college. I suspected something was wrong, but did not know how to fix the unidentified problem. I tried to change universities at the end of my sophomore year, hoping that my anxiety would lessen by reducing the amount of obligations I had done to myself. This was unsuccessful, unsurprisingly. It would be 18 months before I felt ready to go back to school. Again I passed all my courses while working part time in a research lab. Then he was on his way to graduate school on a full scholarship. It would be 18 months before I felt ready to go back to school. Again I passed all my courses while working part time in a research lab. Then he was on his way to graduate school on a full scholarship. It would be 18 months before I felt ready to go back to school. Again I passed all my courses while working part time in a research lab. Then he was on his way to graduate school on a full scholarship.

During those years between 18 and 24, my drinking progressed to the point where I was under the influence or had a hangover. I discovered marijuana before college. She also desperately wanted a stable relationship with a man, but none of them lasted and / or were healthy. I finally lost my virginity to a complete stranger at the age of 19. I guess peer pressure. At 20, I shared an apartment with 2 friends and they almost arrested me because it turned out that the boyfriend of one of them was dealing heroin. (Although LSD was popular at the time, anything but marijuana was out of reach. LSD was a one-time attempt.) Bad decisions were made, and many more would be made before I was finally diagnosed with bipolarity in 1995 during a trial period.

A story of successes, failures, and outrageous behavior continued (after ~ 1972 and after finishing graduate school). My career included more than thirty academic publications and various promotions, athletic prowess, enjoyment of concerts and theater, trips abroad; the list of positives is long. But achievement and pleasure were interspersed with a failed marriage, one-night stands, too many parties, and their aftermath. I barely managed to keep my head above the water, but NO ONE stood up to my outrageous behavior and I was certainly not aware of anything but the superficial.

I had a mostly successful and rewarding career. My colleagues respected me ... but I often thought: "If they only knew the truth ...". I struggled with depressions that lengthened as I got older. I started self-injuring and bulimia in the 80's to cope with it.

In 1993, my mother died after 5 difficult weeks from an infection that should not have occurred. I was the only one who could make tough medical decisions, plan a funeral, handle her will, sell her house, and deal with a drug-addicted sister who only added to the confusion and sadness of that time. Six weeks later, I collapsed, mentally and physically. Diagnosed as depressed, a doctor gave me an antidepressant. We now know that taking this type of medication is accurate proof of the presence of bipolar 1 disorder. Three months later, I was in a full-blown manic state. Miraculously, I had a moment of clarity and recognized my chaotic life as a response to the antidepressant. And now, the 6-year long journey to sanity began. It was a nightmare of hospitals and doctors and ineffective treatments. Fortunately, he had stopped using alcohol. Except for a few small slips caused by relentless stress, he was sober most of the time. I was too sick to be disappointed in myself when I picked up the bottle, but I always managed to get back on the wagon quickly ... thank goodness for AA and other support groups. They helped me stay sober.

I was "forced" on a sabbatical from work, which would later become permanent in 1996. Not working was so strange to me, but I couldn't bear to be around people. Anxiety attacks were a weekly occurrence. I was finally accurately diagnosed in 2000 by a psychiatrist who was a friend. I was desperate and finally turned to someone I knew, a former tennis partner and an excellent doctor. He was gentle, knowing that he was broken and fragile.

It would be another year before I was stable enough to benefit from psychotherapy. The drugs had done what they were supposed to do; stabilize my moods. It wasn't a full recovery, but it was infinitely better than where it had been. My psychologist spoke softly and probed my confused mind. I discovered that there was a trauma in my life, but it was my behavior that was causing the confusion. I entangled everyone in my chaotic life. Unfortunately, to this day, there are still triggers that change my mood, but they are less powerful and definitely more controlled due to medication, counseling, and other complementary therapies.

I am now convinced that my persistent and growing mental instability in later years is in part the result of untreated bipolar symptoms for over 35 years. There is also a large genetic component. Mood disorders definitely run in my immediate and extended family. I hope people heed my warning about avoiding aggressive bipolar treatment. You won't be doing yourself any favors trying to live with their intense and tumultuous moods. Seek professional help and find an advocate for your health.

I can try to tell you the story of how I found out I was bipolar.

When I was younger, the word people used was "intense." Actually everyone still calls me that, now it's just a euphemism for mentally ill.

It was quite bright, but also emotional, even dramatic. I reacted strongly to things. I was the "sensitive" type.

Apparently my elementary school had us make a lot of posters. My mom told me that these posters would drive me crazy. Even at 8 years old. I would never be happy with that. It was never good enough. And I would be disproportionately angry at myself.

Then I turned 21 years old. My personal life

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I can try to tell you the story of how I found out I was bipolar.

When I was younger, the word people used was "intense." Actually everyone still calls me that, now it's just a euphemism for mentally ill.

It was quite bright, but also emotional, even dramatic. I reacted strongly to things. I was the "sensitive" type.

Apparently my elementary school had us make a lot of posters. My mom told me that these posters would drive me crazy. Even at 8 years old. I would never be happy with that. It was never good enough. And I would be disproportionately angry at myself.

Then I turned 21 years old. My life started to feel like it was slipping away from me. I was doing better than ever in my academic life, but my personal life was rotting from the inside out.

I had recently landed an internship at a Harvard lab and was preparing to move to Boston and work harder than I had ever worked in my life.

Getting around is hard for everyone, but I didn't seem able to cope.

I felt more and more alone and isolated from everyone around me. To the point where I actually started buying alcohol at the store and drinking it in my bed, alone, in some attempt to distract myself from the pain I was feeling.

He had no idea what he was doing.

I felt increasingly inept at conversing with people. I would talk too fast and for too long and hate myself intensely after that. I started to hate myself.

For a long time I thought I was depressed. On some level, it sounded a lot like depression. He was isolated, wounded, and empty.

And work. Oh god the work. I remember times when I would show up at the lab at 9 a.m. on a Tuesday and didn't come home until Thursday night. I don't even remember if I slept, but I do remember experiencing physical pain from exhaustion.

And yet it was exciting. I would crawl out of bed in a catatonic state, slap myself, play hardcore electronic music, and feel the shivers of energy go down my spine as I ran to the lab, over and over again. I get goose bumps all over my body.

I realized that with the right music and approach I could trigger what felt like a runner's high, deliberately. This crazy adrenaline rush, I suppose, would quench any feelings of hunger, thirst, fatigue, or emotional pain.

I was a fucking machine. It was bulletproof.

As time passed, my ability to maintain these highs began to decline and they were always accompanied by a brutal crash afterward. The shocks seemed to mainly affect my energy from the beginning. But soon, they would begin to sink me into the depths of despair.

I remember the day. November 1, 2014. I woke up in my bed, my chest seized with some kind of anxiety, and it seemed like everything seemed empty. I felt emptier than I had ever felt before. This was probably the first of my very dark lows.

They would attack again. With relentless frequency, I would be shot between this bulletproof machine and a paralyzed cripple in my bed. I shook myself, completely unable to understand what the hell was happening to me and why I felt that way.

The work continued. The pain grew. And my stability evaporated.

I came back from this internship, physically in one piece, mentally in a thousand. I continued my career in Canada and within a year I was accepted into several of the best biosciences PhD programs in the US with covered tuition and stipend included. Harvard, Stanford, Yale, whatever. I had to decline an interview at Princeton due to lack of time to visit.

To most people, it must have looked like you were walking on water.

But if you ask my roommates during that year, they all know that I spent most of my time in bed, playing video games, eating take-out pizza, or dreading having work to do. I was in a very bad place emotionally.

And yet, even at this point, he had no idea that he was bipolar. He had no friends or family to see the patterns. Me neither. I just thought he must be depressed.

I started my doctorate at Harvard last September. Another isolating uprooting, with an intense workload. I didn't do better the second time. Whatever stability I had achieved by being back home, it went straight out the window of my empty little residential bedroom. I sank into my bed like it was a coffin.

My mood kept rising and falling with increasing intensity to the point that I could no longer attend classes in the morning. I could barely continue to attend classes. My productivity dropped to zero. The highs weren't able to undo the damage done by the lows. Most of the time, I felt like I was constantly drowning.

One last dark crash in December 2016 was enough to make me realize I had to go to the hospital. I spent just over a week in a psych ward and it was there that I was finally diagnosed by a fantastic psychiatrist and started getting some answers.

Bipolar disorder is a very delicate illness.

It's usually very difficult to spot it yourself, and in most cases, other people will notice your strange behaviors before you do.

But before we get into that, let's talk about mania, hypomania, depression, and the three main types of bipolar disorder and the NOS category.


If you don't know what mania is, chances are you don't know much about the disease. Mania is described as a period of generally elevated or irritable mood and is the prominent mood episode for diagnosing bipolar I disorder. This period should last at least 7 days and should have at least 3 of the symptoms.

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Bipolar disorder is a very delicate illness.

It's usually very difficult to spot it yourself, and in most cases, other people will notice your strange behaviors before you do.

But before we get into that, let's talk about mania, hypomania, depression, and the three main types of bipolar disorder and the NOS category.


If you don't know what mania is, chances are you don't know much about the disease. Mania is described as a period of generally elevated or irritable mood and is the prominent mood episode to diagnose bipolar I disorder. This period should last at least 7 days and you should have at least 3 of the symptoms present. most of the time (4 if the mood is irritable):

  • Inflated self-esteem or grandiosity
  • Decreased need for sleep (eg, you feel rested after only 3 hours of sleep)
  • More talkative than usual or pressure to keep talking
  • Flight of ideas or subjective experience of racing thoughts.
  • Distraction (i.e. drawing attention too easily to unimportant or irrelevant external stimuli), as reported or observed Increased goal-directed activity (either socially, at work or school, or sexually) or psychomotor agitation (i.e., purposeless, aimless) directed activity)
  • Excessive involvement in activities that have a high potential for painful consequences (for example, engaging in riotous shopping, sexual indiscretions, or foolish business investments)

You can also have things like:

  • Delusions (having false beliefs that are strange to others)
  • Hallucinations (seeing, hearing, smelling, and feeling things that are not there)

Mania also has to cause severe functional impairment and the possibility of self harm, unless there are delusions and hallucinations then it is automatically considered manic.


Now, let's review the minor mania, hypomania.

Along with a severe depressive episode, hypomania is used to diagnose both Bipolar II. Hypomania and mild or moderate depressive episodes are used to help diagnose cyclothymia, but these mood patterns should be consistent for 2 years. And finally, there is also Bipolar NOS, in which one of the ways to be diagnosed is when there are multiple hypomanic episodes that cause distress to that specific person.

I myself was placed in the NOS category because I am only a teenager, but it is clear that I have some type of mood disorder related to bipolar disorder.

But let's go back to the hypomanic symptoms of DSM.

Hypomania is a period of euphoric or irritable mood that lasts at least 4 days. Again, 3 symptoms should be present if the mood is euphoric, 4 if it is irritable.

  • Easily distracted
  • Excessive involvement in activities associated with a high potential for negative consequences, such as disorderly spending, gambling, sexual indiscretions, or risky financial investments.
  • Feeling intensely driven to achieve specific goals
  • Restlessness, rhythm, or restlessness, also known as psychomotor agitation
  • Flight of ideas or feeling that your thoughts are racing.
  • Great thinking, meaning unrealistic thinking about your powers, talents, or abilities.
  • Reduced need to sleep without feeling tired
  • Unusual talkativeness or feeling of pressure to keep talking

If this seems very similar to diagnosis mania, that's because it is. The difference between mania and hypomania is basically just gravity. Hypomania does not usually cause significant impairment compared to full-blown mania.


Finally, I will talk about depressive episodes.

A major depressive episode should last at least 2 weeks and there should be at least 5 symptoms present. One of the symptoms must be a depressed mood or a loss of interest or pleasure. Symptoms in DSM include:

  • Depressed mood most of the day, almost every day.
  • Noticeably decreased interest or pleasure in all, or nearly all, activities most of the day, nearly every day.
  • Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain, or decreased or increased appetite almost every day.
  • A slowing down of thinking and a reduction in physical movement (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or slowing down).
  • Fatigue or loss of energy almost every day.
  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt almost every day.
  • Decreased ability to think or concentrate, or indecision, almost every day.
  • Recurring thoughts of death, recurring suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan to commit suicide.

IF this sounds like you, IMMEDIATELY talk to someone about it. You cannot tell if you really have bipolar disorder or not unless you are diagnosed with it. There are other potential causes for this, which is why it is important to speak with a doctor.

So if you suspect it, start recording your mood on a day-to-day basis, that's what helped me get my diagnosis.

Be as transparent as possible with your doctor about what you think is happening.

Signed,
AJ Moore <3

I feel like there are no separate subtle signs, but rather a spectrum of intensity from mild depression to extreme mania.

I am answering this question based on my experience, taken from a section of my doctoral thesis in Disability Studies entitled "Beyond Words: Discovering the Self with Bipolar Disability through Visual Images".

My answer focuses more on the manic phase, while also hinting at the depressive phase. Directly below is the artwork I made while manic. This is how I felt when I was manic before taking medication, when I somehow managed to escape the black hole of depression, anticipating

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I feel like there are no separate subtle signs, but rather a spectrum of intensity from mild depression to extreme mania.

I am answering this question based on my experience, taken from a section of my doctoral thesis in Disability Studies entitled "Beyond Words: Discovering the Self with Bipolar Disability through Visual Images".

My answer focuses more on the manic phase, while also hinting at the depressive phase. Directly below is the artwork I made while manic. This is how I felt when I was manic before taking medication, when I somehow managed to escape the black hole of depression, anticipating making up for lost time. It's called "Mardi Gras on my mind."

“Ah, mania, sweet mania. It is a "natural" high that cannot be measured with the usual means. Why not? Because it is the opposite of its evil twin, depression. How do you describe the opposite of total personal emptiness? How do you explain the feeling that what was once dark, empty and extremely emotionally painful is now incredibly liberating, with unlimited happiness, confidence, creativity and the amount of energy, the equivalent of drinking a gallon of Red Bull, twenty Starbuck Greats? and taking down two dozen Krispy Kremes, all in one sitting. Now, like its opposite, depression, mania can last for hours and days. Days without sleep and days full of doing things you probably never would have done had you not been 'blessed' with the presence of bipolar disorder. Typical behavior and feelings associated with manic phases are pressurized speech, feelings of grandeur, overconfidence, spending sprees, insomnia, drug and / or alcohol binges, extreme impulsivity, hypersexuality, irritability, verbal aggressiveness, sudden obsessive interest, and immersion in religion and spirituality. , social inadequacy and denial of one's own dysfunctional behavior. " social inadequacy and denial of one's own dysfunctional behavior. " social inadequacy and denial of one's own dysfunctional behavior. "

One of the subtlest signs of mania relates to the person experiencing it. We are often the last to know that we are manic because we are part of it and it becomes part of us. We are like a lobster boiling in its own pot, unaware of its plight. Bipolar mania (and depression) merge with our previously asymptomatic self, to become a single entity. We realize it after the fact, either once we become aware of the social and interpersonal damage we cause or when another person who knows us asks us during the manic episode, “Uh, did you remember to take your medications? You're not acting like yourself. ”It might be annoying, but I really think it's an act of caring, that it could save us from ourselves.

Changes in professional predisposition to diagnose: The “initial symptoms” that someone might have bipolar disorder vary. While 15-20 years ago there was an enthusiasm for diagnosing prepubertal children as having bipolar disorder, I think most responsible physicians are hesitant to put that label on a child, especially since the diagnosis must be based on parental reports of child's behavior, which are notoriously inaccurate.

Onset in adolescence: The most common onset of bipolar disorder symptoms is during adolescence. Again, "mood swings" can be difficult to diagnose because

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Changes in professional predisposition to diagnose: The “initial symptoms” that someone might have bipolar disorder vary. While 15-20 years ago there was an enthusiasm for diagnosing prepubertal children as having bipolar disorder, I think most responsible physicians are hesitant to put that label on a child, especially since the diagnosis must be based on parental reports of child's behavior, which are notoriously inaccurate.

Onset in adolescence: The most common onset of bipolar disorder symptoms is during adolescence. Again, “mood swings” can be difficult to diagnose because teens tend to be more on a hormonal / emotional roller coaster as their bodies go through tremendous changes over a 4-8 year period. However, an adolescent who is aware that his emotional reactions - his mental state - seems to be more erratic or extreme than is healthy for him, may recognize that he must be seen by a psychiatrist or therapist for help in managing these. "humor changes."

Be aware of substantial and sustained mood swings: The initial symptoms or early signs that a first bipolar episode is in progress are behaviors and thought patterns that last at least a few weeks, where those thoughts / behaviors can become somewhat disabling , making it difficult to go to school / work, get along with people you normally get along with, manage a daily self-care routine. Symptoms can appear as periods of anger or deep sadness or euphoria. In the case of euphoria, thought / behavior changes may initially appear as increased productivity, quality of effort, and the belief that anything is possible.

Look for a dramatic increase (euphoria) or decrease (depression) in productivity at home, work, or school, recognizing that it is normal to have some variation over time in our productivity. With bipolar disorder, the differences are more substantial.

Abnormal impulse control: One type of hypomanic (a manic) symptom is loss of impulse control. You can immediately understand that this is also a characteristic of adolescence. Therefore, the diagnosis must differentiate between an individual adolescent's normal degree of risk-taking and a comparatively sudden shift to a much higher degree of risk-taking. This can include spending a lot more money, engaging in risky sexual behavior, taking dangerous risks while driving (something even so-called normal teens are sometimes ill-equipped to recognize), making impromptu plans that aren't realistic, etc. Can you see how? It can be difficult to determine if a teenager has bipolar disorder rather than temporary symptoms that come with the process of settling the body's hormones, developing social skills,

Self-awareness - This is why self-information is so important. A teenager needs to acknowledge that something is "not quite right" with his thinking: that he is really depressed or volatilely angry or unrealistically positive. Is not easy! It turns out that what is very difficult for most of those who have not yet learned to deal with their bipolar hypomanic episodes is that they feel so good. You are happier, more productive, you feel invincible, perhaps even more creative. Even if you recognize it, you probably don't want it to go away.

Differential Diagnosis: For these reasons, adolescents seem to pay more attention to the "early symptoms" of depressive episodes: crying, hopelessness, lethargy, loss of appetite, loss of interest in activities that generally bring pleasure. But here's the challenge: These are symptoms of depression. To have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, a doctor must understand if the adolescent also has episodes in which he feels very productive, his thoughts arise quickly, greater in quantity and quality (in his own evaluation), they are much more optimistic and optimistic. However, if these episodes also occur (even if they are less frequent than episodes of depression), the doctor is more likely to diagnose bipolar disorder.

Including a history of mood swings: You can now see that bipolar disorder cannot be diagnosed based on a couple of "early symptoms." It requires paying attention to a history of thought and behavior changes, the degree to which those changes occur, and how long those episodes last. A responsible physician will hesitate to diagnose bipolar disorder if the history of symptoms can be explained by a diagnosis of recurrent depression, for example.

For me, it was just normal. Weeks of being in bed staring at the ceiling, wiggling my fingers and toes and trying not to think about how I couldn't breathe, how I couldn't force myself to sleep.

I woke up nervous, anxious, nervous. The less I slept, the better I felt. I would go shopping, I spent about five thousand dollars shopping online in less than a year.

There would be days when I couldn't crawl out of bed, days when I felt tired, sick, and physically heavy. But I was a high school student who had to wake up at 6:30. It was normal.

It was normal when I sat in class and

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For me, it was just normal. Weeks of being in bed staring at the ceiling, wiggling my fingers and toes and trying not to think about how I couldn't breathe, how I couldn't force myself to sleep.

I woke up nervous, anxious, nervous. The less I slept, the better I felt. I would go shopping, I spent about five thousand dollars shopping online in less than a year.

There would be days when I couldn't crawl out of bed, days when I felt tired, sick, and physically heavy. But I was a high school student who had to wake up at 6:30. It was normal.

It was normal when I sat in class and the world spun before my eyes, my chest tightened and I concentrated more on my breathing than on the teacher because "something is wrong something is wrong something is wrong" my heart rate feels like a rabbit and i can't feel my feet but i stay still or people will stare and every minute feels like an hour but i don't think i can. I'm going to pass out, no, I'm going to die here and now, but this is normal.

It reached a high level when my sinuses were operated on.

Afterward, I would sleep 16 hours a day and go to bed afterward. He had no pain, rather, it was an excuse to do nothing but read depressing books, listen to sad music, and think about how useless human life is.

And then it was time to go back to school. After a month of absence.

I sat in that classroom for about 15 minutes before he didn't stop and ran crying to the nurses office and then home.

I couldn't leave. I couldn't breathe. I spent the whole day in a haze of suffocation and fear of death.

So we took me to a mental hospital. Classic anxiety, depression, and panic disorder.

We tested Prozac. I couldn't stay awake for more than 30 minutes. I slept 20 hours a day and the 4 that I was awake were filled with panic attacks.

Lexapro. The same, only more awake, awake by constant anxiety.

Zoloft. Rinse repeat. I tried to kill myself. It was not successful.

We finally found one that slowed him down. Pristiq. The highest dose: 100 mg. I mixed that with xanax and gapapentin three times a day and I was still anxious, but I was able to get out of the house and breathe for the first time in months.

I have been in pristiq for years. Slowly, the anxiety has returned and I am still going through cycles of incredible episodes of life and energy. I clean, I run errands, I write amazing stories, I don't sleep but I do a lot of things. I buy too many things.

And then I crash. I sleep 14 hours, I spent two days in bed and I feel empty and worthless and what is the point. I am alone but I have friends, I am sad but my life is fine.

I went to a psychologist. A doctorate in psychology, an MD, and a few other degrees. Once a week for a few months.

Surprise, surprise, I was misdiagnosed. He's bipolar, which explains why SSRIs didn't work for me, but an atypical SSRI did.

Is not sufficient. I have weeks where I feel like a normal person. I have weeks, like right now, in which I will not sleep until 4 in the morning and I will wake up at 6, in which the light and sound are too many, in which I will not want to eat and I will not be able to stay still. .

Days when I work, when I go out later and don't get home until 2 because I have too much energy. Days when I write 5000 words in 2 hours and read it a week later like it's the first time I've seen it.

I have to take a xanax before my skating lessons on the ice rink. I can't ask a waitress for anything. I get nervous getting up to go to the bathroom because people are looking at me.

Some days I tell my secrets to everyone who listens to me. Other days I am calm and in a bad mood.

I really don't know who I am under all this fucking mental illness.

Joao Tavares gave the most detailed answer I have ever seen. And it has a title. But, as a bipolar (successfully treated and relatively sane for over 20 years), I don't entirely agree with your answer. It certainly lists some of the symptoms, but it also mixes in some that are not necessarily bipolar symptoms, perhaps from other conditions that may or may not be present in a particular bipolar person. (For example, I have schizophrenic tendencies, I listen to music, but not all bipolars look like that.)

I'm not messing with you, Mr. Tavares, and I appreciate the details you provided. That's what I leave

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Joao Tavares gave the most detailed answer I have ever seen. And it has a title. But, as a bipolar (successfully treated and relatively sane for over 20 years), I don't entirely agree with your answer. It certainly lists some of the symptoms, but it also mixes in some that are not necessarily bipolar symptoms, perhaps from other conditions that may or may not be present in a particular bipolar person. (For example, I have schizophrenic tendencies, I listen to music, but not all bipolars look like that.)

I'm not messing with you, Mr. Tavares, and I appreciate the details you provided. That is why I am going to leave your detailed answer to help me give a more detailed answer. You clearly said that symptoms may or may not appear in someone with bipolar disorder and I want to emphasize that. And offer the perspective of someone who has faced you for more than 50 years. (As well as seeing many of my family members deal with it.)

Taking your list. Depression - well, of course, that's one of the "poles" and mania is the other.

Low self-esteem. Not necessarily. And it is difficult to use it as an indicator, since many people suffer from it.

Cambios de humor rápidos. Su descripción solo se ajusta a los cicladores rápidos. Algunos bipolares se balancean a diario o en el mismo día. Muchos más de nosotros solo experimentaremos los cambios unas pocas veces al año.

Impulsive behavior. Sort of. During a manic state, we are inclined to overindulge in pleasurable behavior, which can include sex, drugs, shopping - whatever feels good.

Idealizing people. Nope. Not a symptom of bi-polar I don’t think, although, like all people, we may - or may not - suffer from that. I personally never did.

Overwhelming fear of abandonment. Again, hard to use it as symptom because it is not really part of our condition. We may or may not experience it.

Moments of physical or verbal violence. Oh, boy. That’s the stereotype of us and the justification for denying us, even those who under treatment, some pretty basic rights. Like, in some states, getting a driver’s license. MOST of us are NOT violent, except the violence toward ourselves. We are often self destructive.

Emotionally manipulative. You’re confusing conditions again. Some bi-polars may be emotionally manipulative, but it’s not part of the condition.

Self- destructive. Yep, you’re right. In the manic state we overindulge in the pleasurable behavior - and too much food, sex, drugs, alcohol, shopping, etc is destructive. In the depressed state, we often want to kill ourselves - though we usually lack the energy to do it then. In a mixed state (and we do have those where the mania and depression mix) we want to kill ourselves, have the energy, and often do.

“Impossible to bear void in their chests.” I have no idea what you are talking about. I never experienced that. I felt overwhelming depression when I could see no light in the world. I experienced mania when my mind was racing like a hamster on a wheel and I couldn’t stop it. But never a void. The problem sometimes was that there WAS no void - and no space for me between the overwhelming darkness and the overwhelming mania.

Identity issues. Not sure what you mean. Yes, it is confusing when the world is either all black or all great. But, I had a very strong sense of identity - of ME - in any state.

Addictive tendencies. Yes. Part of the problem is that we self medicate. I used alcohol to slow down the hamster on the wheel brain and cocaine to speed it up. Also, we overindulge in “pleasurable” activities as I mentioned, which can lead to addiction. You’ll find a lot of us in recovery programs.

Struggle with relationships. Oh, yeah. Not necessarily because we are unwilling to be in a relationship or let people be close. But our shifting moods and behavior are very difficult for the other person in the relationship to tolerate or accept. I ran off a lot of them before finding my wonderful husband who stuck with me until I got into treatment.

Sexual behavior. Yes. As I mentioned several times, overindulgence in pleasurable activity - and what beats sex? except maybe some drugs.

There are pretty good definitions of the disorder in the medical literature. Everyone is slightly different and we often have other disorders as well, such as my schizophrenic tendencies, but the basic indicator is mood swings - slow or rapid - which are not necessarily tied to reality, although they may certainly be triggered by very real events and just become more extreme than what other people would experience. (That’s what makes it tough for a bi-polar to realize there is a problem sometimes. The triggering event is real, it’s just the reaction is out of proportion.) Some of us tend more to the manic end. Some of us tend to the depressive end. And some of us truly manage both extremes of the swings.

Someone mentioned sleep cycle as a symptom, and there is a lot of truth in that. However, in my case the sleep cycle is more of a trigger than a symptom. If my sleep rhythm gets disrupted, it triggers an episode. But, my sleep cycle was pretty regular - unless school or later work disrupted it - even before I was medicated.

Thanks for asking, and I wish there were a good, clear answer to the question - it surely would simplify things for a lot of people.

I would think the first thing to address would be the reason for attempting to identify this illness. For instance, for the purpose of self-diagnosis? Bad idea. Get professional help. To figure out if a family member or acquaintance is bipolar? Again, for what purpose - to help? If you’re clear in your own mind what your purpose is, that will help determine what road you take.

Here I will mention something that will undoubtedly annoy a lot of people, so in advance

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Thanks for asking, and I wish there was a good and clear answer to the question; it would surely simplify things for a lot of people.

I think the first thing to address would be the reason for trying to identify this disease. For example, for self-diagnosis? Bad idea. Get professional help. To find out if a relative or acquaintance is bipolar? Again, for what purpose - to help? If you are clear in your own mind what your purpose is, that will help determine which way to go.

Here I’ll mention something that will no doubt piss off plenty of people, so in advance I say please don’t hassle me about it because I won’t respond! It seems that bipolar has become something of a “disease de jour” which practically everyone has or knows a lot about. So there’s an enormous amount of disinformation being propagated by people who claim expertise or personal knowledge when that isn’t necessarily the case.

Contrary to what some people seem to believe, it certainly is possible to arrive at a correct diagnosis of bipolar, whether it’s any of the now-recognized five types, but that can’t be accomplished simply by looking at a videotape of a person or some other such superficial approach.

On the other hand, can anyone have watched Robin Williams perform over the years, and been familiar with his personal history, and not at least wondered? If you’ve known someone well for a long period of time, and observed extreme highs and lows, while that may or may not indicated bipolar it could very well signal some sort of problem, and there are a lot of conditions that may look on the surface like bipolar.

There’s any number of causes of bipolar (I still prefer the old “manic depression” because I think it’s more evocative of the emotional pain of the condition), including genetic and “organic” causes.

“Experts believe bipolar disorder is partly caused by an underlying problem with specific brain circuits and the functioning of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters.” Causes of Bipolar Disorder It’s important to recognize the physical aspect of the disorder, because that understanding is partially what allows the doctor to prescribe appropriate drugs. Also, there can be a genetic component.

The only way to reach a truly accurate diagnosis is with the help of a professional, preferably a doctor who actually knows about so-called mood disorders. (“Mood disorder” is a term I dislike because I think it tends to minimize what is a very serious and too-often deadly disorder - not at all in the casual “I’m in a bad mood today” type of category.)

“The doctor will ask detailed questions about your bipolar symptoms. Other questions may focus on reasoning, memory, ability to express yourself, and ability to maintain relationships.” How Is Bipolar Disorder Diagnosed? A detailed history is also important.

If you think you may be bipolar, get thee to a doctor, and probably your family physician isn’t the best option - ideally see a psychiatrist who specializes in so-called mood disorders.

If you think someone you care about may be bipolar, approach the subject very carefully and with extreme discretion. Perhaps you can have a relatively low-key, private conversation with someone close to that person to the effect that you’ve noticed some ups and downs and wondered if maybe there were something you could do to help. Even better than that, if it’s possible, you might seek some unilateral counseling on your own to determine the best way to achieve your desired end, whatever that might be.

Bipolar used to be called manic depression. Basically it consists of alternating periods of elation followed by terrible depression.

If you feel invincible, unstoppable, supremely confident, for a few hours or days, immediately followed by a sudden downward curve, where you can barely move and feel desperately depressed, then you are probably bipolar. Certainly, if this happens regularly, you are bipolar.

What happens with people who are bipolar is that they are intensely depressed, but so much so that after a while they move to the other side and feel euphoric. So really the

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Bipolar used to be called manic depression. It basically consists of alternating periods of euphoria followed by a terrible depression.

If you feel invincible, unstoppable, supremely confident, for a few hours or days, immediately followed by a sudden downward curve, where you can barely move and feel desperately depressed, then you are probably bipolar. Certainly, if this happens regularly, you are bipolar.

What happens with people who are bipolar is that they are intensely depressed, but so much so that after a while they swing the other way and feel elated. So really the elation is the minds way to cope with very intense depression. The human psyche cannot deal with anyone state for a long period of time. So if we are very depressed the depression will eventually flip and become elation. Even in everyday life, if we say feel very happy, say we have a celebration day such as a birthday or a marriage day or whatever, usually we will feel a come down the next day, as the human mind cannot maintain the same mental state for a long period of time.

This can also work to our advantage. Next time you feel really depressed, just remind yourself that this too will pass, that everything passes, it will give you consolation, as no matter how bad you feel now, you will feel better later!

Anyway, before you classify yourself as bipolar, check out your form.

Have you been feeling like this for months/years?

When you look back on your life do you seem this kind of emotional pattern going back, in some form or other, into your childhood?

If the pattern is long-term then chances are that you are bipolar. However, if you have only suddenly been feeling like this and perhaps you have had a major life disappointment recently, then in this case you might be suffering from ordinary depression/anxiety.

If you are feeling very depressed, for more than a few weeks, pop into your local doctor and have a chat about things. Also, read some self help books and think about consulting with a counsellor or therapist. It will take a little bit of research to see exactly where you are.

The general course of action, with depression, is for your doctor to put you on anti-depressants for several months and see how they work out. If you have a regular depression, they will probably help. If you are bipolar they probably won’t, so you will have to go to a psychiatrist and receive a different type of medication. Talk to your doctor and tell him that you think you are bipolar and he will refer you to a psychiatrist.

Even, if you are bipolar, definitely some sort of counselling will be helpful. Doctors and psychotherapists argue over whether a person is born bipolar or they are bipolar because of environment. But either way a bipolar person has a type of depression which is not curable. However, this does not mean that they cannot have a fulfilled life. Rather it means that they will probably be on mediation for a long time (possible for life).

But therapy/counselling can really help, so that the bipolar person can get a hang on their mental state. When you begin to understand yourself better and work out why you may be feeling bad and also that you have a mental condition, which plays havoc with your mood. You can at least begin to understand what is happening and use your reasoning power to put things into perspective. The unhappy bipolar person, is a person who is ignorant of their condition.

They say ignorance is bliss, but not in this case!

So check it out and see if you are bipolar, it will probably take a few months and some chats with some health professionals to ascertain things, and then if so get to know yourself better and next time you feel really high or low, at least you know where its coming from. Its a bit like been on a boat and feeling sea sick. You may not feel good but at least you understand what's happening. So that next time you feel high you won’t do anything crazy and next time you feel low you won’t crumple in on yourself.

I hope this helps. If your interested in reading up on some uplifting material regarding the mind then look at the articles under the ‘mind’ section of my blog http://www.healbodymindandpsirit.com

They are many and varied.

The average age of onset of bipolar disorder is in the late teens, early 20s, but unfortunately, it takes an average of 10 years to get a correct diagnosis of this disease because it can be confused with other illnesses.

The bipolar spectrum covers 4 different types of bipolar illness, however for the purposes of this question I will only talk about Bipolar 1 and Bipolar 2.

To get a diagnosis of bipolar 1 disorder, you must have been in a manic mood for at least 5 days or have been hospitalized due to acute manic symptoms. May or may not have had a depressive ep

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They are many and varied.

The average age of onset of bipolar disorder is in the late teens, early 20s, but unfortunately, it takes an average of 10 years to get a correct diagnosis of this disease because it can be confused with other illnesses.

The bipolar spectrum covers 4 different types of bipolar illness, however for the purposes of this question I will only talk about Bipolar 1 and Bipolar 2.

Para obtener un diagnóstico de trastorno bipolar 1, debe haber experimentado un estado de ánimo maníaco durante al menos 5 días o haber sido hospitalizado debido a síntomas maníacos agudos. Puede que haya tenido o no episodios depresivos.

For a diagnosis of Bipolar 2 Disorder you need to have had episodes of depression that have lasted at least 7 days, and also episodes of hypo mania which has almost the same symptoms as mania but to a lesser degree.

So as you can see this is not a cut and dried answer.

Also, it is common for people with depression to go to their doctor because they feel so ill. They will usually be willing to take medication if they think it will make them feel better.

On the other hand, people with mania, or hypo-mania, feel so good that they do not think they are ill, far from it, so it would be rare indeed that they would seek medical attention at all.

Symptoms of depression:

(it must be accompanied by mania or hypo mania to be considered Bipolar Disorder. Otherwise it is classed as Unipolar or Major Depression).

  • Lack of energy
  • Feels of sadness, guilt, worthlessness and possibly irritability
  • Change in sleep and eating patterns
  • Lack of motivation, even for the things they once enjoyed
  • Slowed down movement, thinking and talking
  • Thinking about death and dying

Symptoms of hypo mania or mania:

  • Excessive energy
  • Talking loudly, very fast, and annoyed when interrupted
  • Racing thoughts
  • Risk taking: shopping sprees, gambling, driving fast, sexual promiscuity
  • No interest in sleep
  • Feelings of grandeur

If you are having any of these symptoms you will need to see a psychiatrist for a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder.

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