Bipolar disorder (formerly called manic depressive illness) is a condition of the brain that causes extreme changes in a person’s thinking, mood, energy levels and overall behavior. This mental health condition affects around 2 % of the population. It was once known as manic depression because people tend to experience extreme moods – both depressed (low), and high or excited (manic).
Understanding Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder has a combination of genetic and other factors usually associated with its development. As with other mental health conditions, a family history of bipolar disorder increases the likelihood of someone developing the condition at some stage in their life.
People with bipolar disorder experience extreme highs and lows. In a high (manic) state, people may behave in a reckless way. Their thoughts, speech and movements speed up and they may have difficulty focusing on tasks, feeling frustrated and irritable. On the other hand, the symptoms of a low or depressed state are like those for people experiencing depression. These include feeling low or sad, detaching from friends and family, and losing interest in hobbies and pleasures.
The maniac phase involves increased energy, irritability, anxiety, overactivity, increased spending, increased sex drive, racing thoughts, rapid speech, decreased sleep, grandiose ideas, hallucinations and/or delusions.
People may feel like their brain has racketeered. Many of them virtually cannot sleep the whole night. They feel like millions of thoughts and mad, creative ideas are in front of them.
The depressed phase shows low mood, irritability, loss or change of appetite, lack of motivation, low self-esteem, sleep disturbance, suicidal thoughts, difficulty managing small tasks or making simple decisions.
Some of the following bipolar disorder signs are like those that occur with other problems such as drug abuse, A.D.D. (attention deficit disorder), major depressive disorder, disruptive mood disorder, or even schizophrenia.
Manic Episodes: An episode of mania includes a period where the client’s mood has changed and it is elevated (overly happy), expansive, or very irritable and the person also has increased energy at the same time (far more acute than what is normal in such young people)
Other manic symptoms of bipolar disorder may include:
- Unrealistic highs in self-esteem – for example, a client feels all-powerful or like a superhero with special superpowers.
- Overwhelming increase of energy.
- Decreased need for sleep such as being able to go with little or no sleep for days without feeling tired.
- Increase in talking – when the client talks too much, too fast, changes topics too quickly, and cannot be interrupted.
- Distractibility – the child’s attention moves constantly from one thing to the next.
- Repeated high risk-taking behavior, such as abusing alcoholic drinks and drugs, reckless driving, or sexual promiscuity
Depressive Episodes: People who have bipolar disorder may also experience periods of depression. An episode of depression includes low or irritable mood.
Other symptoms of a depressive episode may include:
- Decreased enjoyment in hobbies
- Intense tiredness
- Oversleeping or insomnia
- Lack of concentration
- Constant complaints of boredom
- Substance use disorders such as alcohol abuse or other drugs
- Eating disorders
- Frequent stomach aches or headaches
- Death wishes