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Signs and Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a behavioral health condition in which sufferers experience extreme mood swings. Although bipolar disorder can have serious repercussions for sufferers, it is manageable with the help of a behavioral health specialist. Could bipolar disorder be to blame for your symptoms? Here are some of the signs that you should consider talking to your physician about these symptoms.

Depression

Bipolar disorder has two main symptoms: Depression and mania. Sufferers cycle through these symptoms, often with a period of mood stability in between. During depressed moods, bipolar disorder sufferers may experience:

  • Prolonged periods of sadness and hopelessness
  • Feelings of guilt and worthlessness
  • Loss of interest in once enjoyable activities
  • Decreased energy
  • Changes in sleep habits
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Trouble concentrating and remembering information
  • Thoughts of suicide

These symptoms are similar to the symptoms of major depression. What separates bipolar disorder from major depression is that people with bipolar disorder also experience periods of mania.

Mania

Mania is other piece of bipolar disorder. Mania is a marked upswing in mood that can include irrational feelings of happiness and powerfulness. In a manic episode, these symptoms may occur:

  • An overly excited or happy mood
  • Restlessness and excessive energy
  • Rapid speech
  • Loss of concentration and racing thoughts
  • Inflated self-esteem
  • Poor judgment that can lead to dangerous behaviors
  • Decreased need to sleep

The degree of mania that a person experiences depends on the type of bipolar disorder he or she has. With bipolar I disorder, severe episodes of mania can happen, while bipolar II disorder is marked by less intense manic episodes called hypomania. Cyclothymia is another type of bipolar disorder that includes episodes of hypomania interspersed with mild depression. In some cases, patients have characteristics of more than one kind of bipolar disorder and are diagnosed as having bipolar disorder not otherwise specified.

At Lawnwood Regional Medical Center, our compassionate team of behavioral health specialists includes physicians, nurses and other skilled providers who provide both inpatient and outpatient care. To learn more about behavioral health in the Treasure Coast, call (800) 382-3522.

Categories: Children, Bipolar

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