By Evette D. Champion
We’ve all experienced a situation where we had a mood swing. You know, when you could be feeling fantastic one minute and the next minute, you are feeling down in the dumps. For most people, these types of mood swings do not happen very often, but for those with bipolar disorder, it is more of a commonplace.
Here are 10 common symptoms individuals display if they have bipolar disorder.
- Severe Ups and Downs- People who suffer from Bipolar disorder usually have periods of extreme highs and devastating lows (mania and depression, respectively). When someone is going through a manic stage, they could have the potential to lose concept of reality as well as be in a state of extreme energy—some liken it to euphoria. When they crash, they tend to crash hard though.
- Unable to Finish Things- When someone is in the manic stage, it is not uncommon for them to begin projects. Unfortunately, there are some people who can begin a project but never finish it—even though they have complex plans that sound amazing. They tend to be easily distracted, which is why they have numerous unfinished project.
- Depressed- Much like someone who is going through suffers from regular depression, when someone with bipolar disorder is going through the depressive stage, they will have difficulty eating, sleeping, focusing, and lack energy. Unlike regular depression, antidepressants alone will not work properly. In fact, the medication could make their symptoms worse.
- Irritable- There are some instances where a bipolar person experiences bouts of mania and depression simultaneously. When this occurs, it is likely that the person will be incredibly irritable. Sure, we all have our not-so-pleasant days, but when you have bipolar disorder, everything is amplified.
- Fast Talker- Pressured speech is one of the easiest symptoms to recognize. You’ll find this kind of speech when they are talking to you and instead of letting you speak, they will talk over you and the conversation is all over the place.
- Troubles at Work- Many of the symptoms of Bipolar disorder can interrupt the work day, either because they cannot focus, they are extremely irritable and snap at coworkers, or even inhibit them from showing up at work all together.
- Substance Abuse- Approximately half of the people with Bipolar disorder have some kind of substance abuse, although many turn to alcohol, especially during a manic episode, as it quells the energy overload.
- Behaving Erratically- When someone is in a manic stage, it is not unlikely that they will begin to do things that they would never do otherwise. These things could include doing drugs if they normally do not, spending money with frivolously, and even promiscuity.
- Unusual Sleep Patterns- When an individual is in a depressive state, they feel like they cannot get enough sleep and will sleep a lot. Adversely, when they are in a manic state, the person could feel like a million bucks and have a bunch of energy, all with just a few hours of sleep.
- Rapid Stream of Ideas- It is not easy to recognize this symptom because we all have instances where our minds are constantly going. However, this particular symptom usually goes hand in hand with pressure speech.