Bipolar Disorder Symptoms & Warning Signs

Published: February 1, 2012

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Symptoms

The symptoms of bipolar disorder vary in severity from person to person. Bipolar patients are said to be manic when they experience the following traits: hyperactivity, excessive energy, loss of self control, impulsive behavior, falsely high self-esteem, sleeplessness, bad temper, and dangerous behavior such as overeating, drinking, doing drugs, acting without judgment, spending excessive amounts of money, and being promiscuous. Manic individuals with bipolar disorder have trouble concentrating and focusing on tasks.

Bipolar patients may also feel symptoms that are less intense and more depressive. These symptoms include problems concentrating, diminished memory, lapses of judgment, appetite loss, weight loss, increased appetite, weight gain, exhaustion, lethargy, feelings of hopelessness, excessive and irrational guilt, sadness, suicidal thoughts, insomnia, and social withdrawal.

Bipolar disorder is equally common among men and women across a variety of ethnic and racial groups. In many situations, bipolar disorder is difficult to diagnose since the symptoms resemble depression. For the most part, people experience symptoms differently. A person might experience symptoms of mania more strongly than feelings of depression, and another person might experience symptoms of depression more strongly than symptoms of mania.

People who are bipolar might not recognize whether they are experiencing symptoms. In many situations, friends and family members are the first to recognize behavioral abnormalities and symptoms.

Warning Signs

Patients with bipolar disorder are high suicide risks. If you start to experience suicidal thoughts, you should contact a suicide hotline, call 911, or contact your doctor immediately.

Many bipolar patients abuse drugs and alcohol. When you are bipolar, especially if you are taking medications, you should not use these substances. Alcohol and drugs may interfere with prescription medications and antidepressants.

Many bipolar patients cause harm to themselves and others. As the condition worsens, a patient might have trouble functioning in society. Many patients with bipolar disorder behave out of character by committing crimes and lashing out against loved ones. A person might behave violently or irrationally, causing irreparable damage to certain social relationships.

You should seek help if you notice substantial negativity in your quality of life. You should not have to suffer, especially when there are treatments available to help you. When you allow the condition to persist and become worse, you risk the possibility of causing permanent damage to your life.

Many times, friends and family members are the first to recognize symptoms. If you suspect that your friend or family member is bipolar, you should contact a doctor as soon as possible for tips and suggestions. Do not aggravate the person, and avoid triggering a manic episode.

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