It is important to understand how to identify bipolar disorder and to identify the signs and symptoms that people will show when they have this problem. The problem is that this mental illness can look different in certain people. The symptoms will vary depending on the pattern, frequency, and the severity of the mood swings.
There are three common types of mood episodes and symptoms that are associated with bipolar disorder. These are mania, hypomania, and depression. If you can learn to identify these symptoms than you will bring them one step closer to the treatment that they need.
When people are experiencing symptoms in the manic phase they will have emotions of heightened energy, euphoria, or even creativity. They might talk at such a rapid speed that you do not understand much of what they are saying, they will get little to no sleep, and they will appear to be very hyperactive. In severe cases they might feel that they are invincible or all powerful.
A big problem with mania is the crash that comes after the great feelings that they begin to experience. After awhile they will behave very recklessly and make poor decisions. Some people have been known to spend or gamble away all of their money while others might become very angry and break out into fights. In severe cases they might be delusional or hear voices.
This is considered to be a less severe form of mania. The symptoms of euphoria, productiveness, and energy are much the same. The only difference is that they are not as strong and people are often able to lead their normal lives without acting out of the ordinary or appearing to be overly dramatic.
Most people who suffer from the hypomania form of bipolar disorder will appear to be in a bad mood most of the time. To the outside of the world they appear to simply make bad decisions in life. They will cause harm to relationships, careers, and can even hurt their reputation. It is possible for hypomania to turn into all out mania.
The third phase of this disorder is known simply as bipolar depression. While this is similar to the normal feelings that people get from straight out depression it is still very different from the symptoms of bipolar depression. People who suffer from this particular depression cannot usually be helped by antidepressants. In fact research shows that these will often trigger the condition or make it worse.
People who suffer from this will show signs of irritability, guilt, feelings of being restless, and unpredictable mood swings. Most will begin to sleep a lot more than usual, will speak slowly, and will gain weight. This condition makes it difficult for them to know what to do at work or how to behave at a social function.