We all have our moments of highs and lows. However, with disorders such as bipolar disorder, these instances of ups and downs are drastic, unpredictable, and a bit more difficult to handle.
When not in check, this disorder can cause a lot of problems at work, in school, and your relationships with your friends, family, and loved ones.
And the best way to deal with this is to first learn about it.
What is Bipolar Disorder?
It is a mental disorder which leads the person to experience severe mood swings. These moods swings can either be mania or hypomania, also known as emotional highs; or one can experience depression, also known as emotional lows; and in some cases, people experience both feelings at the same time.
How do I know I have it?
There are many signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder. Identifying them would aid in further understanding the disorder itself. And of course, it would help you create a self-assessment if whether or not, you may be bipolar.
These are the common signs of mania/manic episodes:
1. Hyperactive and restless
You seem to have tons of energy by the end of the day despite having to do a lot of strenuous activities.
Staying still or just relaxing is somewhat a difficult task for you. Moving around is what you would prefer to do. In situations where you get nervous, you get to become more restless than normal.
3. Easily distracted
When you are given tasks at work or in school, it is not easy for you to stay focused on them. Or when you are having conversations with other people, you tend to get carried away by the different topics being discussed which make it difficult for you to grasp each topic.
The risks you take are no longer just in areas of wanting to go skydiving or bungee jumping. But now, you are now willing to throw away tons of money in gambling, make unsure investments, and involving yourself in sexual risks.
You overestimate your own abilities and skills. The view you have for your talents are exaggerated. And this is also how you explain to others your own skills, abilities and talents.
These are the common signs of depressive episodes:
6. Insomnia or too much sleep
It’s either you have trouble sleeping or you sleep for excessive hours. This isn’t just one problem or an instance, this happens in regular frequencies.
7. Loss of energy
Going about your daily routine is difficult for you. Simple day-to-day activities seem meaningless or tiring to do. Even talking to people feels like such a task.
Getting out a certain answer for you in anything is almost impossible. Sticking with one answer or even coming to a decision is already hard.
9. Weight loss or weight gain
It isn’t because you’re going on a diet, signs of depressive episodes when you have unusual weight loss in large numbers. Or it can also be that you’re gaining too much weight quickly.
10. Suicidal thoughts
Thoughts of guilt, hopelessness, and excessive worrying are the beginning of what will the lead to suicidal thoughts. Wanting to end your life and thinking of ways to do it is a common sign seen in those with depressive episodes.
What happens when I have both Bipolar Mania and Depressive Episodes?
People who experience both episodes experience a combination of the symptoms of the two. Some experience suicidal thoughts and extreme weight loss/weight gain while having a very impulsive and overconfident behavior. There are those who experience loss energy and too much sleep while being overconfident.
How do I handle it?
The best way is to seek medical attention and look for emotional support from your friends and family.