Top 10 Signs of Bipolar Disorder and How to Get Help

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition characterized by significant mood swings, including emotional highs and lows. Most people with this condition, also known as manic depression, are usually diagnosed in their twenties as symptoms start appearing. Dealing with the signs of bipolar disorder can be overwhelming, and it is important to get help as soon as possible. 

It can be difficult to persuade someone with this disorder to get help due to experiencing the highs and lows only a handful of times a year. On the other hand, a person’s mood swings can be so severe that keeping a job or maintaining close relationships can be tough to manage. Many people may love being in a manic state and enjoy the extra energy and feelings of euphoria, but inevitably the period of depression and sadness follows.

What are the Signs of Bipolar Disorder?

It’s vital to understand that each person experiences different symptoms and to varying degrees. Those suffering from high-functioning bipolar disorder may hardly exhibit symptoms, making it more difficult to diagnose. Each manic or depressive episode has its unique signs and symptoms, and it’s important to become familiar with them. 

Manic Symptoms

1. Easily Distracted

Due to their non-stop racing thoughts, people struggling with bipolar disorder often have a difficult time staying focused on one thing at a time.

2. Decreased Sleep

Those who struggle with this disorder spend most nights awake with a mind that won’t turn off. It’s frequent for these individuals to have insomnia, which keeps them tossing and turning for hours on end.

3. Impulsive Behavior 

One of the most common signs of bipolar disorder is poor judgment and an inability to control one’s actions. They can become delusional and feel like others around them are being negative toward them. 

4. Accelerated Speech

A person in a manic frame of mind will jump from one subject to another while having a rapid-fire conversation. They are antsy while speaking and are more likely to be standing or pacing while talking. 

5. Feeling Highly Excitable

Many people who suffer from this condition love the feeling of increased energy and the ability to do more than usual. It can also cause them to feel overly elated,  jumpy, and out of control which makes for an uncomfortable sensation.

Depressive Symptoms

1. Experiencing Prolonged Sadness

A potential sign of bipolar disorder is when a person feels down and gloomy for more than a couple of weeks, which can be defined as depression. It may be more intense and profound after a manic episode.

2. Feeling Persistent Fatigue

Someone who is just coming down from an emotional high with bouts of insomnia and using incredible amounts of energy will be tired. They may sleep for days or feel so worn out they are hardly able to function.

3. Low Self-Esteem

An individual who has been delusional or excessively emotional during the frenzied time will be regretful afterward. They will have feelings of self-doubt and worthlessness. 

4. Difficulty Concentrating

They have been on overload during the manic stage, and their mind has not stopped as it races. The opposite occurs during the depressive phase as they may shut down completely, making it hard to think or communicate.

5. Lose Interest in Socializing

Due to the poor opinion of themselves, their inability to function, and the guilt they may feel, people who are bipolar often shut themselves in. They don’t want to be around others and pull their attention from their usual activities or hobbies. 

Getting Professional Care When Seeing Signs of Bipolar Disorder

It is vital for loved ones to have knowledge of the symptoms of bipolar disorder. Despite the extreme changes from manic to depressive periods, some may not realize how disruptive this behavior can be. They may be embarrassed and will often not reach out for the help they need.

When you notice the bipolar disorder signs, you can reach out and make an appointment with a mental health professional. Bipolar disorder does not go away, but there are many options for treatment, including inpatient or outpatient. Call Orange County Behavioral Health at 949-900-8426 or 877-467-2223 to learn more about our bipolar disorder treatment programs.

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