Bipolar symptoms(A comprehensive list)

Bipolar symptoms

In this brief blog, we will be talking about the different bipolar symptoms, the symptoms of each episode in bipolar symptoms, and more information about bipolar symptoms.

What’s the condition called bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition where there is the event of having high episodes which immediately move toward low episodes.

The high episodes are termed manic episodes while the low episodes are termed depressive episodes. 

The rapid changes in mood in bipolar disorder will become mixed where different moods interact with another savouring their time equally this kind of psychological disorder is not an unusual diagnosis in mental health services. 

A previous study found that 2.6 per cent which is equivalent to more than 5 million people are living with some kind of a bipolar disorder.

The symptoms of this psychological disorder can appear in the late teens but some symptoms may manifest in the younger years. 

Women tend to have bipolar disorder more than men and several reasons have not shed light on this statistic.

This kind of mood disorder can be difficult to diagnose but the signs and symptoms of this mood disorder can help in finding people who are affected by this mood disorder.

What are the signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder?

Different signs and symptoms can appear in people with bipolar disorder.

Some of these signs and symptoms may come from other psychological disorders which makes this combined psychological disorders more difficult to treat.

The signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder are separated into the two predominant episodes of this mood disorder which are manic episodes and depressive episodes.

Signs and symptoms of a manic episode in bipolar disorder

Manic episodes can cause other symptoms in bipolar disorder but these symptoms tend to define their characteristics of elatedness which are the following:

  • feeling extremely happy or high for a long duration of time
  • having less need for sleep
  • talking rapidly usually with racing thoughts
  • feeling really restless or impulsive
  • becoming easily distracted
  • having overconfidence in your skills
  • doing risky behaviour such as having impulsive sex, going on big spending sprees or gambling with life savings

You can learn more about the thoughts in people who are in their manic episodes by buying this book on this website.

Bipolar symptoms(A comprehensive list)

Signs and symptoms of depressive episode in bipolar disorder

Similar to manic episodes, depressive episodes can also cause some bipolar symptoms and here are some of the symptoms in depressive episodes:

  • feeling sad or hopeless for a long duration of time
  • avoiding friends and family
  • losing interest in activities that you once enjoyed or anhedonia
  • having a significant alteration in appetite
  • feeling chronic fatigue or lack of energy
  • having difficulties with memory, decision making, and concentration
  • thinking about or doing suicidal acts or having a preoccupation with death

Cycles of depressive episodes and manic episodes

If you have bipolar disorder, you can experience some moments where your depressive episodes are more regular than your manic episodes and in the other order of these episodes as well.

Within these differing episodes, you may have some moments where you are in your normal mood.

The cycle is not always the same in people with bipolar disorder but there are some identical patterns which are the following:

  • rapid cycling 
  • mixed state

You can even have some symptoms of bipolar disorder but they don’t really imply this kind of mood disorder and these bipolar symptoms have lasted a long time, this kind of mood disorder is diagnosed as cyclothymia.

You can learn more about this kind of mood disorder by buying this book on this website.

Bipolar symptoms(A comprehensive list)

A mixture of depressive episode and manic episode

A mixed episode is a subtype of bipolar disorder where there are some symptoms of mania and depression in a person.

The most typical signs and symptoms of this subtype include depression combined with agitation, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, racing thoughts, and distractibility. 

The combination of both manic symptoms and depressive symptoms is a deadly mixture since it makes these people more likely to attempt suicide.

Rapid cycling in bipolar disorder

Rapid-cycling is another subtype of bipolar disorder where the person will have 4 or more episodes of either manic episodes or depressive episodes in a year.

The mood swings change rapidly where the change can be interpreted as a rollercoaster which lasts days to weeks to months. 

Rapid cycling can make people feel a loss of control which can make them feel more distressed than ever.

You can help yourself and let your loved ones help you as well with this mood disorder by following some tips in this book that can be bought on this website.

Bipolar symptoms(A comprehensive list)

Other types of bipolar disorder in abnormality

Different types of bipolar disorder have been identified based on the difference in signs and symptoms in affected people.

Bipolar I disorder

You will be diagnosed with bipolar I disorder if you’ve had at least 1 manic episode in the span of 1 week.

Most of these people will also have some symptoms of a depressive episode. 

Manic episodes in bipolar I disorder can last for 4-6 months if left untreated for a long time.

While depressive episodes in this bipolar disorder will last for 6-12 months if not treated immediately.

You can learn more about the symptoms of bipolar I disorder by buying this book on this website.

Bipolar symptoms(A comprehensive list)

Bipolar II disorder

Bipolar II disorder is when a depressive episode is more predominant than a manic episode.

To get this diagnosis, you must be having at least 1 depressive episode for a week. 

You also need at least one hypomanic episode.

Bipolar I or II disorder with seasonal pattern

The seasonal pattern in bipolar disorder means that you have mood episodes in one of the seasons of the year.

For instance, a patient will be suffering from a depressive episode during the winter but the manic episode will not easily return to its pattern since winter is still present.

Psychologists treat this mood disorder using light therapy which you can get by buying this lamp on this website. 

Cyclothymia

Cyclothymia is diagnosed when you have had bipolar symptoms for 2 years that don’t count as full manic episodes and depressive episodes.

In this case, you won’t be diagnosed with bipolar disorder since your bipolar symptoms are mild. 

However, cyclothymia can last longer.

This mood disorder can even develop into bipolar disorder.

Multiple causes of bipolar disorder

The cause of a bipolar disorder is not that straight to the point.

Studies have shown that interaction of causes can create this kind of mood disorder.

Genetic factors

You are more likely to have bipolar disorder when you have a family member who also had this mood disorder.

This risk gets more probable when both of your parents have this mood disorder or your twin has this mood disorder.

Studies haven’t pinpointed the genes that create bipolar disorder in patients.

However, different genes have been associated with the appearance of this mood disorder.

Brain chemical imbalance

Chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters can affect the mood and behaviour of a person.

Having too much or too little of these neurotransmitters can cause bipolar symptoms of manic episodes and depressive episodes.

Environmental factors

Traumatic events can also cause bipolar symptoms in susceptible people such as childhood abuse and the loss of a loved one.

These factors are more likely to give you depressive episodes if you are severely affected.

How to diagnose bipolar disorder by mental health professionals?

Bipolar disorder is diagnosed by mental health professionals by using a psychological assessment in the clinical setting.

However, chronic manic episodes can be difficult to spot. 

People who experience hypomania tend to be more energized but they don’t show many risk-taking behaviours such as people with manic episodes.

This kind of episode are less complained about by these affected patients.

Affected people tend to seek help more if they are suffering from depression which makes the doctor lose sight of the manic episode which is also necessary to be treated.

Treatment for people with any kind of bipolar disorder

Here are the following treatment options that are prescribed for people with bipolar disorder.

Medications

Mood-stabilizing medications have been used to treat bipolar symptoms. These medications are the following:

• Lithium

• Specific antipsychotic medication

• Specific anticonvulsive medication

• specific benzodiazepine medication

Psychological treatments and interventions for bipolar disorder

You will be prescribed with psychotherapies that have been recognized to be effective toward bipolar symptoms.

You may be able to attend either or both individual therapy and/or group therapy. 

The goals of your therapy are to minimize bipolar symptoms and not letting them appear again.

This condition is called a relapse of these symptoms.

The skills learned in therapy are the following:

• understand your disorder

• think about the impact that your thoughts and behaviour have on your mood,

• observe your mood, behaviour and thoughts

• think about distress and risk

• make plans to stay healthy

• make plans to follow if you start to become unhealthy

• be aware of how you speak

• manage problems you may have in everyday life.

If you are still living with your family, you will be given a family intervention in the course of your therapy.

This intervention is where you will express to your family about the effects of your bipolar symptoms. 

The family intervention will be prescribed to be used by people who are your social support.

This support will depend on the problems you are facing in the present. 

Family intervention can be individual therapy sessions and group therapy sessions.

You will have at least 10 sessions in this therapy session with your family.

Other support for bipolar disorder

Your mental health professional can advise you about your lifestyle changes that you need for your mental health.

If you need to return to work, you should be given support from your workplace. 

You can get this support through your general practitioner and mental health care team.

Your mental health professionals can also help you with your problems with employment by helping you find jobs that are right for you.

Your mental health care team can set up a mental health recovery plan for you. 

This plan will help you identify the warning signs of your mental health problems and ways of dealing with these problems.

This plan also involves the people you need to call if you are in a distressing moment in the present.

You will also be motivated to create an advance statement.

This is an instruction given to your mental health professionals when you might not be able enough to make serious decisions about yourself.

Care Programme Approach for bipolar disorder

You will be evaluated in the care program approach if you are found vulnerable to make decisions on your own.

This is a care package from secondary mental health services. 

You will have a care protocol and someone who will care for you.

This plan also has a critical incident plan for your mental health crisis.

CPA wants to assist you in your mental health recovery by understanding your:

• strengths

• goals

• mental health support needs

• problems

CPA will be accessible if you are assessed to have a high-risk situation. You and your general practitioner will have a copy of your care protocol. 

Your carers will be given consent based on what they need to do in the care plan.

Conclusion 

In this brief blog, we will be talking about the different bipolar symptoms, the symptoms of each episode in bipolar symptoms, and more information about bipolar symptoms.

If you have any questions about bipolar symptoms, please let us know about your queries and the team will be accommodating to answer you.

FAQs: Bipolar symptoms

What are the signs of bipolar in a woman?

The signs of bipolar in a woman are similar to a man which are irritability, excessive self-esteem, reduced sleep, excessive talking, a flight of ideas, and easily distracted.

These signs of bipolar in women can be minimized through therapy.

What triggers bipolar?

Bipolar can be triggered by hormonal problems and events such as loss of a loved one or a traumatic event. Genetics has also been found to be a factor for this kind of mood disorder.

If your mother has bipolar disorder, you are more likely to have bipolar disorder.

Can bipolar make you sick?

Bipolar can make you sick by getting you to not function properly in any area of your life.

You can also become sick if you engage in risk-taking behaviours in mania.

For instance, you might engage in substance use which will make you have an addiction to the drug.

How quickly do moods change in bipolar?

The speed of the mood change in bipolar can last for days, weeks or months.

Mania tends to last for 4 days.

Depression can last for a week.

The rapid movement of these moods can make these patients distressed and dysfunctional.

Can bipolar go away?

Bipolar cannot go away since moods can shift for a lifetime.

However, bipolar only goes through a remission state which allows the patient to rest from these changing moods.

Also, therapy for bipolar disorder tends to last a long time.

Citations

Healthline. Could It Be Bipolar Disorder? 14 Signs to Look For.

Mind. Bipolar disorder.

NHS. Symptoms-Bipolar disorder.

PSYCOM. Bipolar Disorder.

Rethink Mental Illness. Bipolar Disorder. 

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Daniela Paez is a Clinical Psychologist with an MSc. In Clinical Neuropsychology from Bangor University. She has vast experience in working with children with disabilities, adolescents and their families, in extreme conditions of poverty and vulnerability. Additionally, she owns a private practice where she provides neuropsychological evaluation for children and adults, and treatment for mood disorders, anxiety, couple therapy, among other conditions.