Bipolar disorder stands as a distinctive mental health condition that significantly impacts one’s emotional states, ranging from one extreme to its opposing counterpart. In the past, it was recognized by the name “manic depression.”
Individuals grappling with bipolar disorder often experience fluctuations in their moods, with episodes of depression being more frequent in some cases, while in others, episodes of mania might take precedence. Moreover, intermittent periods of relatively stable and “normal” moods can manifest between these contrasting phases of emotional intensity.
The patterns are not always the same and some people may experience:
- rapid cycling – wherein a person with bipolar disorder swiftly shifts between high and low phases.
- mixed state – where someone with bipolar disorder endures a combination of depressive and manic symptoms, such as heightened activity coupled with a melancholic mood.
During a period of depression, your symptoms may include:
- Experiencing a perpetual state of sorrow, despondency, or irritability.
- Lacking energy
- Challenges in focusing and retaining information.
- No longer finding joy in mundane daily routines.
- Experiencing an overwhelming sense of emptiness or insignificance.
- Battling with feelings of guilt and hopelessness.
- A prevailing sense of pessimism regarding everything.
- Struggling with self-doubt and uncertainty.
- Facing delusions, hallucinations, and disrupted thought patterns.
- Experiencing a loss of appetite.
- Encountering difficulties in getting restful sleep.
- Waking up prematurely during the night.
- Dealing with thoughts of despair and self-harm.
The manic phase of bipolar disorder may include:
- Experiencing immense joy, euphoria, or elation
- Speaking with rapidity and enthusiasm
- Being infused with boundless vitality
- Feeling self-important
- Brimming with innovative concepts and ambitious schemes
- Fleeting attention spans
- Experiencing heightened irritability or restlessness
- Experiencing distorted perceptions, hallucinations, and illogical thought patterns
- Lacking the urge to rest or sleep
- Indulging in impulsive behaviours with potentially disastrous outcomes, like extravagant and impractical spending
- Engaging in actions that are unlike one’s usual character and are perceived as risky or harmful by others.