What Is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder, also commonly known as manic depression, is a brain disorder that causes shifts in a person’s mood, energy, and ability to function. The symptoms of bipolar disorder can result in damaged relationships, difficulty in working or going to school, and even suicide. There are generally periods of normal mood as well, but left untreated, people with bipolar disorder continue to experience these shifts in mood. The good news is that bipolar disorder can be treated, and people with this illness can lead full and productive lives.
What Are the Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder can cause dramatic mood swings—from high and feeling on top of the world, or uncomfortably irritable and excited, to sad and hopeless, often with periods of normal moods in between. The periods of highs and lows are called episodes of mania and depression.
• Feeling on top of the world. A sensation of sheer and utter happiness that nothing—not even bad news or a horrifying event or tragedy can change.
• Sudden or extreme irritability or rage. While mania is often portrayed as a pleasurable experience, that is not the
case for many people with bipolar disorder.
• Grandiose delusions. Individuals believe that they have special connections with God, celebrities, or political leaders.
• Invincibility or unrealistic beliefs in one’s abilities. The person feels that nothing can prevent him or her from accomplishing any task.
• Hyperactivity. Scheduling more events in a day than can be accomplished; inability to relax or sit still.
• Excessively risky behavior. Reckless driving, outlandish spending sprees, foolish business investments, or out-of character sexual behavior.
• Uncontrollable racing thoughts/rapid speech. Ideas that abruptly change from topic to topic expressed in loud, rapid speech that becomes increasingly incoherent.
• Less need for sleep.
• Intense sadness or despair. The person feels helpless, hopeless, and worthless.
• No interest in activities they once enjoyed.
• Loss of energy, fatigue.
• Sleep difficulties. Either sleeping too much or not at all.
• Changes in appetite. Either a noticeable increase in appetite or a substantial weight loss unrelated to dieting.
• Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions.
• Thoughts of death or suicide.
PS. 30th of March is World Bipolar Day. Birthday of Vincent Van Gogh who committed suicide due to the disorder. Follow #WBD2016 #Mumbai on Twitter.