15 Signs You Have Bipolar Disorder & What You Can Do about It
Domlur, Bengaluru Feb 9, 2017
If the word ‘mood’ has a slightly different meaning to you than the conventional one, then this particular article should make a good read.
Are you ‘Hot & Cold’ in spurts? Does your mood tend to hit extremities from time to time? Are you familiar with the phrase ‘Bipolar Disorder’?
This is not to scare you, but maybe constant moodiness or ups and downs in your moods could be more than mood swings. If you’re finding your mood dangling on either ends of the mood spectrum then maybe you need to take a look at the following signs which hint towards a certain ‘Bipolar Disorder’.
Good news, treatment for Bipolar Disorder is shown to be far more effective if done in the earlier, nascent stages
To make things simple, let’s divide it into two phases –
- The Manic ‘On top of the world’ phase
- The Depressed ‘ End of the world’ phase
Here are a few symptoms that could hint at the possibility of Bipolar Disorder –
- Feeling unusually optimistic – If you’re feeling more positive than usual and are engulfed in a state of constant ‘high’ then it could hint at you being on one end of the spectrum. Don’t you think it’s a tad unnatural to be happy or positive all the time? This could well be the manic phase and could easily go undetected. Try analysing your mood keeping that in mind & if it still seems unnatural, then maybe it’s time to pay the doc a visit.
- Feeling extremely irritable – On the other hand, if you’re extremely irritable and not the most approachable person then maybe this could be more than just a phase. If this has been happening to you for more than a month and you tend to blame anyone and everyone you see, for all that’s been going wrong in life then maybe it’s time to get things back in line. After all, how long are you going to stay irritated for? It’s time to defuse the ticking time bomb!
- Experiencing ‘HYPOMANIA’ – So this is a state that’s slightly less extreme than the absolute mania or euphoria that a bipolar person experiences, and leaves you sane enough to be able to carry on with day to day functioning. That being said, it still means unreasonable optimism and positivity that can impact you in a bad way. Imagine being overly cheerful at a funeral! Not the ideal situation is it? Hypomania is a sign of bipolar disorder and can affect your work, relationships etc. negatively!
- Unreal Belief in one’s abilities – Believing in your abilities is one thing, and blindly believing that you can achieve the impossible is another. Bipolar disorder does have the tendency to make you feel like a superhero, and while that is a good thing for people with low self-esteem, it can tend to lean towards delusion and believing in abilities that might not exist in reality.
- Decreased need for sleep – When you suddenly turn nocturnal, or realise that 3 hours of sleep seems to be more than enough for you it could mean there’s reason to worry. People suffering from Bipolar Disorder don’t feel the need to sleep for 6-8 hours like most of us do. Instead, 3-4 hours seems more than enough and they wake up feeling fresher than ever!
- Excessive Talker – This one is quite common among people, so holding this against someone as a sign for Bipolar Disorder wouldn’t really make sense, but nevertheless in a sea of signs this one stands out quite significantly. Talking a lot on occasion is one thing, but continuously keeping it up isn’t as easy unless you’re suffering from Bipolar Disorder, among other possibilities!
Do you remember someone who couldn’t stop chattering while exchanging nervous glances and struggling to make eye contact? Yes, that’s quite likely a possibility of someone who is suffering from this condition that is more common than you think.
- Racing thoughts – When you tend to have one too many thoughts and you can’t seem to keep a check on how fast your mind can function. Yes, that’s the condition we’re talking about and it is a possible symptom. It can leave you thinking you’re Einstein with all the brainwaves occurring at the same time, but then again you need to face reality that you’re not and most of those thoughts are overtaking each other with the majority of them not even being completed.
- Unnecessary guilt & Restlessness – If you’re suffering from Bipolar Disorder, chances are that you’re suffering from the constant feeling of anxiety and guilt when there’s actually no particular reason for you to do that! Feeling bad and guilty when you’ve committed a wrong is one thing and going through the absolute same thing when you’re innocent is another story altogether. Hence the irritability and unpredictability that also accompanies this condition among the people suffering from this condition.
- Feeling Hopeless & Sad – We’ve arrived at the other end of the spectrum. The darker end, the one where the tunnel seems to not have any light at its end and you can expect nothing but long hours of sadness and disparity with no signs of hope. When someone suffering from bipolar disorder suffers the ‘depression phase’, they feel low and dead as if there is nothing left for them to live for. This phase can last a while and surrounding yourself with friends and family to distract you is the best way forward, rather than going into a shell and locking yourself out from the rest of the world.
- With drawl from friends and family – Another very potent sign of depression or the depressed phase of Bipolar disorder is when you feel disconnected from your friends and family. A person suffering from this condition does not find joy in anything or anyone, not even his friends or family. He doesn’t seem to enjoy activities that once pleased him the most! Imagine a footballer who isn’t interested in a game of football. Strange isn’t it? Well that’s what this condition can do to you.
- Extreme increase or loss of appetite – When someone is suffering from chronic depression, one of two things can happen. Either you end up binge eating – the kinds who need a tub of ice cream and a box of tissues to cope with life, or you give up eating all together and barely get in one meal a day. Both conditions are not ideal and can do your health a world of bad, and need to be treated in time.
- Fatigue & loss of energy – Someone suffering from Bipolar Disorder in the depression phase undergoes a feeling of extreme weakness and lethargy with no urge to even move a muscle! They prefer staying in bed all day and not moving and feel fatigued even without any physical activity. The body follows where the mind leads!
- Slow Speech – People suffering from Bipolar disorder in the depressed phase tend to have a slower speed of speech than most others, almost as if they’re talking in their sleep! This is connected to the fatigue they constantly experience and the lack of energy that they have been feeling because of the depression!
- Problems with memory and concentration – For those suffering from Bipolar Disorder, rationality and sound decision making go out the window! They’re highly influenced by their moodiness and irregular mood swings along with the fatigue so they tend to make decisions that could be based on their delusions and ultimately end up hurting them or those close to them. Relationship decisions and financial decisions should be avoided by those suffering from Bipolar disorder, at least till they get better.
- Obsession with death – This is the one of the worst signs and the clearest indication of someone who is suffering from Bipolar Disorder, Manic Depression or some other severe mental stress. They tend to keep bringing up the topic of death or suicide and how it seems like an escape to them. This can happen very often when a person is lonely and the best thing you could do for someone suffering from this condition is be there and here them out. A patient listener can do wonders! Try it.
If you are someone or know someone who is suffering from a majority of these signs, or is experiencing either an unreal Euphoria or the emotional crash that follows know that it isn’t the end of the world. If you or the patient doesn’t feel comfortable seeking professional help, then confiding in a friend or adoctor or someone you trust is the best way forward.