The Signs of Bipolar Disorder

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Bipolar disorder is a severe mental disorder that affects nearly 2.3 million Americans today. This mental disorder is alternatively called manic depressive disorder because of how it can send someone on a rollercoaster of emotions. 

The Rollercoaster of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder can be considered a form of depression. However, unlike depression which sinks a person in anxiety and sadness, bipolar disorder can lift a person to a high and then suddenly drop them back into depression. It’s similar to how a roller coaster with its ups and downs, with the downs being more severe than regular depression. 

The Up

The ups are what make bipolar disorder a unique form of depression. These ups might seem like a sign that a person’s depression is lifting, however it may just be a sign that a person has bipolar depression. Some signs of the “up” of bipolar disorder include:

Excessive Energy

Someone experiencing the up of bipolar disorder will have excessive amounts of energy. They’ll have quick racing thoughts, and others will have trouble keeping up when they try to have a conversation. They also have a much shorter attention span and will quickly change topics in a discussion.

Impulsiveness

The ups don’t just affect a person’s energy. It also makes a person more impulsive. Their impulsiveness means they fail to understand the consequences of their actions. This leads to alcohol and drug abuse, reckless stunts, and purchases that are out of their means. 

Extreme Mood Swings

Mood swings are a major hallmark of bipolar disorder. A person can quickly shift to being the most approachable person in the room to being irritable and grumpy. They can also be far more arrogant at times and humble yet energetic at others.

The Down

The down is similar to standard unipolar depression in that a person experiences negativity in their lives. However, bipolar depression can be more dangerous because of how it affects a person’s mental health. With unipolar depression you’re sitting on a permanently cold floor. With bipolar depression, the ups are like sitting on a warm rug with all amenities given to you on a silver platter, the downs are like having the rug pulled from under you. Now that person has to sit on the same cold floor for several weeks. Some signs of the “down” of bipolar depression include:

Hopelessness

This is the main effect of the down. A person will not be able to find meaning and their lives and start to question their purpose. This can be difficult to manage for the person experiencing it as the thoughts come suddenly and without warning.

Lack of Energy

The downs are almost the exact opposite of the ups of bipolar disorder. This also includes the energy that a person has. During the downs, a person with this crippling disorder will struggle to even do the most menial of tasks without tiring.

Insomnia or Symptoms of Narcolepsy

This symptom can vary by person. They could either be unable to sleep or end up sleeping too often. This can be troublesome as lack of sleep can feed bipolar disorder and narcoleptic symptoms can cause a person to sleep during important events or inopportune times.


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