Bipolar disorder seems to be a fairly severe mood disorder. Patients with this appear to deal with intense high and low moods. These moods may be called manic and depressive episodes. Each of them may last a couple of weeks. However, it seems that they can span months as well. Patients appear to need one manic episode, at least, to get a bipolar 1 disorder diagnosis. Low-grade mania may trigger a bipolar 2 disorder diagnosis.
It seems that the most common treatment for bipolar disorder is taking mood stabilizers. However, patients may need depression medication or antipsychotics for bipolar disorder as well. Besides medication, some individuals may seek natural mood stabilizers, such as meditation. Psychotherapy for bipolar disorder appears to be essential. Of course, understanding the symptoms may need to come first.
Extreme Mood Swings
It seems that patients may deal with extreme mood swings in this condition. However, this does not appear to mean regular fluctuations in mood. The mood swings should last for certain periods before they may be considered part of this disorder. The depressive episodes may need to last at least two weeks. Manic episodes, though, may only need to span one week at a minimum.
Mania appears to include an extremely high mood. Unfortunately, this does not seem to mean that it is positive. Manic episodes may include lack of attention, wired energy, rapid talking, and a grandiose sense of self. Extreme cases may mean hallucinations and delusions as well. Depressive episodes seem to be the opposite end of the mood swing. The issues here appear to include sleeping problems, apathy, fatigue, lack of concentration, and hopelessness.
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Euphoria seems to be a significant portion of manic episodes. This appears to be a feeling of intense excitement and joy. Unfortunately, this feeling is likely to be extreme. It may even be debilitating. Bipolar disorder patients may feel like they are on top of the world. This may result in extreme exaggerations about how they perceive their skills. It seems to reach delusional levels for some patients. Other feelings may accompany euphoria. They appear to be risky behavior, rapid thoughts and speech, and extreme distraction. Patients do not seem to be able to engage in rational reasoning.
One example of this symptom may be artists. Specifically, during mania, artists may feel euphoria at starting many projects at the same time. They may work on them without breaks. In addition, their pride regarding them seems to be overblown in many cases. However, when the mania is over, these projects may be left unfinished. Many projects may appear to lack meaning.
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Another significant bipolar disorder symptom appears to be poor decision-making. The inability to make reasonable choices seems to come from manic thinking. Poor decision-making may be a major trigger for many negative consequences in this condition. This symptom appears to lead to issues such as risky behaviors and impulse problems. One example may be individuals spending all of their savings. Another seems to be taking drugs.
However, poor decision-making may not only appear in manic episodes. Patients may struggle in depressive episodes as well. These poor decisions seem to include things like a lack of proper hygiene, not eating well, and drug use.
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As mentioned, patients seem to deal with a depressed mood in this condition. It should last at least two weeks before shifting. The influence of mania appears to be a common trigger for depression in bipolar disorder. For instance, maxing out one's credit card may cause significant financial distress. Financial issues seem to be a common starting point for depression.
During depressive episodes, it appears that patients may deal with many classic depression signs. This may include feeling hopeless, persistently low self-esteem, and a lack of interest in hobbies. Depression after mania seems to put patients at a particularly high suicide risk. This risk may be even higher during hypomania, which appears to be when mania and depression mix.
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Sleeping problems seem to be an incredibly common sign of bipolar disorder. They may appear in both depressive and manic episodes. The problem in mania appears to be insomnia. At worst, however, patients may not sleep at all. This seems to be the result of high energy, rampant thoughts, and impulsive actions. Individuals may not feel tired at all even if they do not sleep. Some reports indicate that it may feel like a continuous stream of caffeine.
As a manic episode wanes, patients may be left with extreme fatigue as their body catches up with them. Depressive episodes seem to include sleeping problems like hypersomnia. This appears to refer to sleeping for long periods and not waking up refreshed. In general, sleep disturbances may be a significant warning sign when it comes to bipolar disorder.