Bipolar Disorder Symptoms

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Recognising bipolar disorder symptoms is not easy because some of the indicators are quite deceiving. Many people who have this mood disorder may be misdiagnosed with attention deficit disorder, depression or major depressive disorder. Familiarity with the specific bipolar symptoms is an important aspect of recognising the condition.

Basic Symptoms

There are two fundamental components to manic depression: depressive and manic states. The patient shifts between the two extremes, ranging from deep feelings of sadness to spiked energy and happiness. These moods have unpredictable cycles.

An individual who has manic depression may fall into a deep state of depression in which feelings of hopelessness and despair take over. It becomes very difficult to concentrate and think clearly and the individual loses interest in things that used to bring great joy. Thoughts of suicide and death become routine and there are significant changes in appetite, resulting in weight loss or gain.

Manic episodes are quite different and involve a torrent of emotions that can be very pleasurable. The individual may experience euphoric states and excessive energy. The patient typically requires less sleep during a manic stage and can function quite well with four to six hours of rest each night.

Not all of the experiences in the manic stage are pleasurable. Some may become easily aggravated and frustrated. Thoughts run out of control as the individual races from one subject to the next without segue. Excess is another significant problem as the bipolar patient becomes very impulsive.

Severe Bipolar Disorder Symptoms

Some individuals who have this mood disorder have psychotic episodes that include delusional thinking and hallucinations. The patient loses contact with reality, unable to distinguish warped perception from actual occurrences. Feelings of persecution and irrational beliefs may develop leading to self-neglect and incoherent thoughts.


The significant factor to keep in mind is that the mania and depression follow cycles. Many people are unable to recognise bipolar disorder because they focus on the depression rather than the cycle of extreme moods. Manic stages are integral to the proper diagnosis of the condition and it is very important to take note of elevated stages.

The cycles can be quite predictable as the individual tracks progression from one stage to another. Some stages can last a few months or a few days. It is important to note that normal stages often occur as well. The person does not have to be in manic or depressive states exclusively.

Mixed Symptoms

It is quite possible for an individual suffering from manic depression to have mixed symptoms. This may occur as the patient becomes cognizant of the bipolar disorder. The symptoms of mania can be paired with depressed emotions and thoughts.

Proper attention and treatment can help relieve the bipolar disorder symptoms. Anyone questioning whether or not they have this condition can benefit from consulting with a physician.

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