Knowing The Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder

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Bipolar disorder, a grave mental illness affecting approximately 1.5% of the UK population, is still widely misunderstood by the general populace. Since the 19th century, mental illness have fascinated the general population, especially forms of mental illness that evince dramatic symptoms. Few forms of mental illness evince more dramatic symptoms than bipolar disorder. Thus, myths and misconceptions abound.

Bipolar disorder has been both glorified and vilified. Its dramatic symptoms, and its illustrious history among great figures in the sciences and the arts, have intimidated and awed people for decades. The madness of bipolar sufferers who have left a substantial artistic legacy, such as Vincent Van Gogh, has been glorified in a most inappropriate manner. At the same time, a considerable stigma is attached to the diagnosis of bipolar disorder for the “average person,” especially for women. Many people are reluctant to receive a diagnosis of having something “wrong in the head.” Many families, especially old-fashioned ones, perceive that a diagnosis of bipolar disorder (or any other type of mental illness) constitutes a blow to their reputation.

The statistics resulting from these attitudes are not surprising. Studies show that 75% of bipolar sufferers are either misdiagnosed or never diagnosed at all. If you suspect that you, or a loved one, may suffer from this illness, here are some typical symptoms of bipolar disorder to watch out for. Do not become another statistic.

Bipolar patients are subject to alternating cycles of mania and depression (that is why this illness is sometimes known as manic-depression). These periods of mania and depression can last for days, weeks, or months, and are sometimes interspersed with symptom-free periods. However, if the bipolar disorder is left untreated, the mania and depression will always return.

During their manic phase, bipolar sufferers will often appear to be full of energy. Often, people in the throes of bipolar mania will require no more than two or three hours of sleep per night. Typically, bipolar sufferers during this stage of their illness will also report feelings of euphoria, regardless of external circumstances in their lives. Feelings of self-worth tend to sky-rocket. The bipolar person often feels invisible, due to his or her boundless physical energy. Bipolar mania is a time for the bipolar sufferer to exhibit reckless, out-of-control behaviour. The manic person feels like he or she can do no wrong, and will often continue to feel this way even if they are jailed for their actions.

During the depressive phase, bipolar patients exhibit the typical signs of clinical depression. They feel little energy, and often evince little to no interest in the activities that once gave them pleasure. Unlike unipolar clinical depressives, who often suffer from insomnia, bipolar depressives usually oversleep.

If you or someone you know shows the above symptoms, it’s very important to sign up for psychiatric appointment. Bipolar disorder is a grave threat to one’s sanity, and even one’s very life.

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