Bipolar disorder (BD), also known as manic-depressive illness, is a serious mental health condition that makes an individual experience unusual shift in mood, ranging from episodes of high-energy to episodes of moderate to severe depression.
The symptoms of BD, including sadness, low energy and inability to sleep properly, are often confused with symptoms of other mental health conditions, like depression and anxiety. This delays detection and treatment, thus aggravating the condition. Therefore, in order to help one recognize the symptoms of BD, here are a few subtle signs that one can look out for.
- Extreme irritability: Mixed mania, which is one of the stages of BD, can make a person feel depressed as well as happy at the same time. Such mixed feelings, make the person feel constantly irritated, without actually understanding the reason.
- Unpredictable behavior: An individual with BD begins to behave in a way he/she would not behave in normally. For instance, during the manic phase, one might feel over-excited and have an inflated sense of self-esteem which otherwise he/she would not have.
- Excellent mood: In BD an individual experiences episodes of mania and depression alternatively. It can make a person feel either completely low or extremely high on energy. During the phases of hypomania, the affected person begins to feel highly energetic and can be very active. An individual in this phase may even take actions that may not be sensible or indulge in risky behavior.
- Overflow of ideas: During the manic phase, a person affected by BD could become very creative. This results in a free flow of ideas and pressured speech. Pressured speech is when one talks rapidly, without allowing anyone else to talk.
- Trouble at work: An individual with BD often faces difficulty while performing his/her job. This is because the symptoms of BD begin to interfere with his/her ability to complete the required job, attend office and/or interact with others.
- Substance or alcohol abuse: More than half the people affected by BD abuse alcohol or any other substance in both the phases. In the hypomania phase, alcohol is used to calm the nerves and in the depressive stage, substances are used to induce positive thoughts and an elevated mood.
- Changed sleep patterns: On an average, a healthy person needs eight hours of sleep to help him/her function properly. However, a person with BD, would either sleep too much (during the depressive episodes) or too little (during the manic episodes).
- Unfinished tasks: One of the classic symptoms of a person suffering from BD is having a pile of unfinished tasks. In one of the hyper phases, the affected person can plan many high-flying projects but would not be able to complete even one of them.
Bipolar disorder can be managed with proper treatment
It is important to diagnose BD at the right time so that one can be provided with the best support possible. An effective treatment plan usually includes both medications and psychotherapy. However, one should never opt for a treatment plan as per his/her own preference. Instead, it is best to take help from a certified medical expert.
If you or someone you know is suffering from bipolar disorder or any other mental health problem, and is looking to connect with a mental health expert at the best treatment center for bipolar disorder in Los Angeles, Sovereign Mental Health Services can help. Call our 24/7 helpline number 866-973-7164 or chat online with our experts to know about our facilities offering bipolar disorder treatment in Los Angeles and other U.S. cities.