10 Signs of Bipolar Disorder

By james
Reviewed: Dr. Gromatzky
Article Sources Article Sources
Medical Expert Medical Expert

Mental illnesses are far more common than many people think, with some statistics showing that as many as 1 in 10 people have some kind of mental disorder. One of these is bipolar disorder, which affects millions of people worldwide.

Bipolar disorder used to be known as manic depression, and it is a condition that involves both mania and depression. Depression is a condition that causes people to feel down and worthless, while mania is a condition that does quite the opposite.

People with bipolar disorder will experience both, sometimes going from one then directly to the other. The symptoms can be quite dramatic, having a serious impact on the life of the patient and on those around them.

Bipolar Disorder Sign #1: Feeling Empty

Depression is more than just being a bit down. Most of us will feel down from time to time, it’s a part of life and we will usually pull through the tough times sooner or later. Depression, though, is a clinical condition that is not necessarily affected by circumstances around us. It can come on for no apparent reason and is very difficult to treat.

Many people with depression will explain their symptoms as making them feel empty. They will feel as though there is nothing of value in their life and that there is nothing that gives them pleasure. These dark moods are potentially dangerous and should be taken seriously.


Bipolar Disorder Sign #2: Difficulty Thinking Clearly

Thinking usually comes quite easy for us. It is often effortless, with many decisions even being made within an instant. While things can become more difficult in the face of a challenging subject, many everyday thoughts come and go with us even realizing it. It is something that we take for granted, and life could be a lot harder if that were to change.

People with depression, though, can find that thinking can be a lot harder than usual. Even relatively simple decisions can become a lot more difficult and coming to a final decision can become all but impossible. The patient can also find it difficult to remember even simple things.

Bipolar Disorder Sign #3: Low Energy

Different people have different levels of energy. Some always seem to be bounding about and full of life, while others tend to be more laid back and prefer to take it easy. Regardless of these differences, we still usually have the energy we need to do what we want and enjoy life in general.

Depression, though, can cause the patient to feel as though they have little to no energy at all. They feel drained of all energy to do anything physical and drained of all motivation to do even the things they usually enjoy doing. Even getting out of bed can seem a challenge, and they will often choose to stay there all day long.


Bipolar Disorder Sign #4: High Energy

Adversely, another symptom of bipolar disorder is excessively high energy. The patient can feel as though they just don’t want to stop and are eager to take on any challenge that comes their way. They will find it difficult to keep still and will often undertake even menial tasks such as housework with enthusiasm.

These high energy levels can have their drawbacks. The patient’s over-enthusiasm can lead to them taking on tasks that they are not up to. Especially when the mania wears off. Some patients even claim that they prefer their depressive episodes because they feel as though they have more control over what they are doing.

Bipolar Disorder Sign #5: Inflated Ego

It is important that we value our self-worth to a reasonable degree. It is only right that we should recognize our achievements and worth in society, and that other people should treat us with a degree of respect. While this can be a problem with depression, the reverse can be true in bipolar disorder.

During a manic episode, the patient can feel as though they are far more important that they are in reality. They can feel as though they are the most important person in the room and that everybody else should fall into line. This has the potential to place considerable strain on relationships, and can potentially lead to conflict with strangers.


Bipolar Disorder Sign #6: Excessively Upbeat Mood

We all know one or two people that always seem to be in a great mood. Depending on their nature, it can even become a bit irritating at times. Sometimes, you’d wish they’d just settle down a bit and stop being so overly cheerful. Such a symptom can also happen to people with bipolar disorder.

People going through a manic period can feel a sense of euphoria and that everything is perfect, even when it is not. They will often talk nonstop regardless of whether or not people want to listen. In some cases, this upbeat state can flip to a rage in an instant.

Bipolar Disorder Sign #7: Impulsive Behavior

There are so many temptations we have to resist on a daily basis. Whether it is going out with friends on a weeknight, or spending a lot of money on something we want, we have to limit our behavior quite often. We have jobs to do and we need money for important bills, and making the wrong decisions can jeopardize these things.

People with bipolar disorder will often struggle with impulsive behavior. They may go out drinking in the evening regardless of work commitments the following day. They may purchase cars or holidays, despite the money being for important bills. They can also make decisions that can end up getting them into trouble with the authorities.


Bipolar Disorder Sign #8: Racing Thoughts

When we are talking to others, we will usually stick to just one topic, occasionally going off on a tangent when appropriate. It is necessary for us to do this because otherwise it would be difficult for others to understand us. It could also become difficult for us to keep track of our own thoughts.

During a manic episode, a patient is likely to find that their thoughts will race. Instead of sticking to one topic, they will jump from one to another barely settling on any one thing. They will also tend to talk very quickly and it can be difficult to keep up with just what they are saying.

Bipolar Disorder Sign #9: Lack of Sleep

Not getting enough sleep can make the following day very difficult to endure. We will feel tired and struggle to focus on any one thing. Not getting enough sleep can also affect our performance at work while our personal lives can also be affected. Some people, though, will need to have less sleep than others.

Somebody that is going through a manic episode may never feel as though they are getting tired. They may get only a few hours’ sleep at night, or even none at all, and still not feel tired the following day. People going through episodes of depression can also struggle to sleep, only they will likely feel very tired indeed.

Bipolar Disorder Sign #10: Suicidal Thoughts

Even when things are tough, we will usually want to just pull on through and get on with our lives. No matter how hard things may be, we will usually still want to go on living so that we can enjoy doing all the things we like. This is often not the case for people that have depression, though.

People with depression will sometimes harbor thoughts of killing themselves. Indeed, depression is one of the biggest killers of young and middle-aged men. If you do know of somebody that is holding such thoughts then you should take them seriously. Not taking such thoughts seriously could literally end in tragedy.


Home | Privacy Policy | Editorial | Unsubscribe | | About Us

This site offers information designed for entertainment & educational purposes only. With any health related topic discussed on this site you should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, treatment, advice, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, treatment, or diagnosis. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.