Mental Health Conditions

BIPOLAR DISORDER

What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder that involves fluctuations between a hyperactive or manic state to a depressed state. These mood changes affect energy, behavior, activity levels, and the ability to manage day-to-day tasks.

Papercut head, adult bipolar disorder concept. Mental health problems, psychology, mental illness

Types of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar I

Bipolar I is categorized as having experienced at least one manic episode. A person with bipolar I disorder may or may not have a significant depressive episode. With bipolar I disorder, manic episodes last more than seven days and may be so severe they require immediate hospitalization. The manic episodes are then followed by depressive episodes that last at least two weeks.

Bipolar II

Individuals with bipolar II typically don’t experience manic episodes intense enough to require hospitalization but do experience cycles between hypomania and depression. Hypomanic symptoms are similar to mania but are less severe.

Cyclothymia

Cyclothymia disorder is a milder form of bipolar disorder involving frequent mood swings of hypomanic and mild depressive episodes. These changes in mood can occur quickly and at any time.

When should I seek help for Bipolar Disorder?

Mood Swings

Bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme mood swings, ranging from periods of intense mania (elevated mood, high energy) to periods of deep depression. If you notice these mood swings interfering with daily life, relationships, or work, it could be a sign to seek help.

Impaired Functioning

If the shifts in mood are causing difficulties in personal relationships, work, or other aspects of life, it's a good indication that professional help is needed.

Changes in Sleep Patterns

Individuals with bipolar disorder often experience changes in their sleep patterns during different phases of the disorder. For example, during manic episodes, they may require very little sleep, while during depressive episodes, they might sleep excessively.

Risky Behavior

Manic episodes can sometimes lead to impulsive and risky behavior, such as excessive spending, substance abuse, or unsafe sexual activity. If you notice such behaviors, seeking help is vital.

Loss of Interest

A marked loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed could be a sign of depression, which is a part of bipolar disorder.

Changes in Energy Levels

Noticeable shifts in energy levels, ranging from high energy during manic episodes to low energy during depressive episodes, might be indicative of bipolar disorder..

Changes in Speech and Thought Patterns

Rapid, pressured speech, jumping between topics, and racing thoughts can be symptoms of manic episodes.

Suicidal thoughts

If you or someone else is experiencing thoughts of self-harm or suicide, it's crucial to seek help immediately. You can call a crisis hotline or seek assistance from a mental health professional or a healthcare provider.

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