Mind Matters

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is known as manic depressive illness. Severe mood swings are witnessed in this disease. The patient experiences extreme changes in energy, activity, sleep and behaviour. Normally discrete episodes of mania and depression are witnessed. Sometimes long-lasting period of unstable mood is also witnessed. If the episodes of mania and depression last more than two weeks it is diagnosed as bipolar disorder.

Symptoms of Mania and Manic Episodes

Mania includes mood and behavioural symptoms.

Mood Changes

Mood changes include the following:

  • An unusually prolonged period of extreme joy and feeling “high”.
  • Severe irritability, agitation, feeling “jumpy” or “wired.”

Behavioural Changes

Behavioural changes include the following:

  • Talking very fast, jumping all over the place, having racing thoughts (rapid thought patterns)
  • Getting distracted and diverted very easily
  • Increasing goal directed activities such as taking up new projects
  • Restlessness
  • Tendency to sleep very little
  • overestimating one’s abilities
  • Highly impulsive behaviour such as venturing high risk acts, spending sprees, brash sexual tendencies, impetuous business investments

Symptoms of Depression and Depressive Episodes

Depression also includes mood and behavioural symptoms.

Mood Changes

  • A long period of worthlessness and lack of esteem.
  • Loss of interest in once enjoyed activities, including sex.

Behavioural changes

  • Feeling of esteem and unusual fatigue
  • Concentration problem, memory deficits and decision making defects
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Drastic changes in eating sleeping and other daily habits
  • Contemplation of suicide
  • Attempt of suicide

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