Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric illness that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day activities. These moods range from periods of extremely “up,” elated, and energized behavior (known as manic episodes) to very sad, “down,” or hopeless periods (known as depressive episodes). The severity may range from being mild to severe. The severity depends upon duration and symptoms.
Bipolar disorder occurs equally in males and females and usually starts in adolescence and young adulthood. Patients with bipolar disorder will typically have more than one episode.
People having a manic episode may
Feel very “up” or elated
Have a lot of energy
Feel “jumpy” or “wired”
Have trouble sleeping
Become more active than usual
Talk really fast about a lot of different things
Agitated, irritable, or “touchy”
Feel like their thoughts are going very fast
Think they can do a lot of things at once
Do risky things, like spend a lot of money or have reckless sex
People having a depressive episode may
Feel very sad, down or hopeless
Have very little energy
Have decreased activity levels
Have trouble sleeping, they may sleep too little or too much
Feel like they can’t enjoy anything
Eat too much or too little
Feel tired or “slowed down”
Think about death or suicide
However, proper diagnosis and treatment can help people with bipolar disorder to lead healthy and productive lives. Talking with a psychiatrist or other licensed mental health professional (clinical psychologist) is the first step for anyone who thinks he or she may have bipolar disorder. And an effective treatment plan usually includes a combination of medication and psychotherapy.
If not treated, bipolar disorder can impair ability to have good interpersonal relations, impair performance in job or school and even suicide. And if you think you are fulfilling above mentioned criteria, please feel free to consult the mental health professional immediately.