With our busy schedules nowadays, we might think that it is normal for us to experience so-called good and bad days now and then. But what if it is more than just a bad day? What if what you are dealing with is a bipolar disorder and you are not aware of it? This may not seem like quite the problem for you, but bipolar disorder can really mess up your everyday routines, your work, and studies. But what is most important is that this disease tends to get worse with time which is why it is essential for you to recognize the symptoms and consult your doctor as soon as possible. But learning all about the symptoms of bipolar disorder is not something that you can achieve without any help. Luckily we are here and we are ready to help you by sharing everything that you need to know about this disorder!
What is Bipolar disorder?
Although there is a lot left unknown on the topic of bipolar disorder, what is confirmed for sure is the definition of bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is a mental illness which has been diagnosed with nearly 5 million people in the United States. There are two characteristic yet different types of bipolar disorder - bipolar I and bipolar II. There are also other types which have been noticed to occur more rarely than these two characteristic types. It is believed that bipolar disorder is a hereditary disorder, however, further research needs to be done on the topic.
What are the characteristic symptoms of Bipolar disorder?
What is characteristic of bipolar disorder are the extreme mood swings involving episodes of depression and mania which can often last for several weeks. During these episodes, the usual sign of depression and mania can be noticed. Can you guess the symptoms that we are talking about?
Symptoms of depression involve:
- Feeling of sadness for a long period of time
- Unusual loss or increase in appetite
- Severe fatigue
- Problems with memory/concentration
- Suicidal thoughts
These and many other symptoms of depression can be noticed during the episodes of depression within patients diagnosed with bipolar disorder. If you have noticed these symptoms to take part in your life, it is a good idea to schedule an appointment with your doctor, especially if you also notice the following symptoms of mania as well.
Symptoms of mania
- Unusual feeling of happiness
- Feeling overly optimistic
- Talking very fast
- Impaired judgment
- Engaging in unusual and/or risky behavior
Experiencing the episodes of depression and mania apart is one thing, but you can also experience a mixed episode involving symptoms of depression and mania at the same time. Experiencing a mixed episode increases the risk of suicide gradually which is why it is essential for the symptoms to be noticed in time.
How is bipolar disorder diagnosed?
Bipolar disorder is often hard to be diagnosed. But there are several things that your doctor can do in order to rule out other medical conditions that might cause these symptoms. The doctors often perform a full physical exam along with a mental health evaluation. Another thing that is often required for the patients is for them to do a questioner regarding their mood, sleep and diet patterns.
Is there a treatment for Bipolar disorder?
Ignoring the problem will not make it go away, in fact, it will just make it worse with time. Bipolar disorder is a chronic illness which requires long-term treatment. The treatment will not make the illness go away, but it will surely decrease the symptoms and easy your life. But, there is more than just taking a prescribed medication when it comes to bipolar disorder. This illness requires your full attention. You will need to make certain lifestyle changes if you want to see some results apart from taking your medications. Lifestyle changes involve decreasing your stress levels, seeking help and support and getting a proper education on the topic. Monitoring your stress levels can surely help and you can always use the 5 ways to manage stress - which involves everyday exercise, certain changes in your diet, creating healthy sleep schedule, avoiding caffeine and trying some of the popular relaxation techniques!
Telling the difference between depression and bipolar disorder can often be confusing, especially since bipolar disorder is marked by extreme mood swings from high (manic episode) to low (depression episode). But if you think about it, depression alone is a serious enough problem that you need to get help for from your doctor. You should never think twice before consulting your doctor if you notice any of the previously mentioned symptoms of depression and/or mania. Believing the myth that people with bipolar disorder cannot lead normal lives is probably the one thing that you should get rid of from your life and concentrate on your treatment plan. Help yourself by asking for help on time and do not hesitate to make the changes that this disorder requires.