Last Updated: October 2nd, 2019 Are you aware of the signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder? Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder that affects millions of people around the globe. However, it’s rare for people to be aware of the true signs of this disorder. Medical professionals claim that bipolar sufferers experience episodes of mania and episodes of depression in no particular order. These high-and-low extremes which bipolar sufferers experience is why the disorder is often perceived as such a serious medical condition.
The most common symptom of bipolar disorder
The most common symptom to look for in bipolar disorder is mood swings. Mood swings mean that those with the disorder will experience phases of powerful euphoria and joyfulness, but also stages of deep depression and guilt. But, mood swings are not the only symptom of the disorder. There are many other indicators of this condition, and some of the symptoms surprisingly contradict one another.
The two major types of symptoms of bipolar disorder
There are essentially two major types of symptoms: manic and depressive. Each category of symptom can produce wildly different behavior types, and these various behaviors can all be experienced within a relatively small window of time.
This article is going to take you through the full list of symptoms provided by various medical sources, which will give you a clear picture of what to look for when dealing with bipolar disorder.
You’ll also see the corresponding symptom type (manic, depressive or both) for each symptom.
Bipolar disorder sign #10. Binge drinking & drug use
People who suffer from bipolar disorder often feel the need to turn to alcohol and/or drugs in search of relief. This is a very common symptom in patients. However, using alcohol excessively can easily exacerbate one’s problems, and can even cause one’s mood to become further destabilized. Medical professionals often recommend that those suffering from bipolar disorder limit their use of alcohol, or completely stop drinking alcohol altogether. Using street drugs is another dangerous way that some bipolar patients choose to self-medicate.
Bipolar disorder sign #9. Irritation
Type: Manic and Depressive
Irritation is a common symptom that can be experienced during both manic and depressive episodes. It’s common for bipolar sufferers to become easily frustrated over little problems or grievances which can lead to feeling greatly annoyed, frustrated or even angry. Irritation often comes with the general mood instability that can occur during manic and depressive episodes. But, bipolar disorder is often treated by using lithium and other mood stabilizers, which can significantly help to prevent some of the irritation and anger issues that may arise from manic and depressive episodes.
Bipolar disorder sign #8. Euphoria
Strong feelings of euphoria are often sparked in bipolar sufferers when one is experiencing a manic episode. This means that a bipolar patient may feel highly accomplished, overjoyed and even “unbreakable” during a manic episode. Manic episodes will make certain sufferers want to pursue ambitious goals or get work done – even though they are often distracted from achieving their objectives. Some patients even refer to the feeling of manic euphoria as a type of “high.” Euphoria can make those experiencing a manic episode want to go out with friends, socialize, and feel overrun with positive emotions. However, manic episodes can quickly come to a screeching halt, and bring about extreme irritability in some sufferers.
Bipolar disorder sign #7. Racing thoughts
Experiencing racing thoughts is a symptom of dealing with a manic episode, which is commonly seen in bipolar patients. This means that sufferers will often become “lost in their head” in a series of repetitive ideas and thought patterns. This is also referred to as being stuck in a state of “analysis paralysis,” to where bipolar sufferers cannot come to strong conclusions on their own. It’s easy to understand how racing thoughts can contribute to feeling extremely distracted. Sometimes, however, milder forms of manic episodes known as “hypomania” can occur, to where patients are in fact able to manage their racing thoughts. The hypomania phase typically allows for patients to enjoy temporary periods of clarity and mindfulness, although it still holds the potential to spiral into regular mania.
Bipolar disorder sign #6. Not needing sleep
Because manic episodes often bring about large bursts of energy, this can make bipolar patients resist the urge to sleep. This doesn’t necessarily occur because bipolar sufferers can’t sleep. Instead, patients often feel the need to resist sleep during a manic episode. They will feel less tired and more energized. It’s for this exact reason that not needing to sleep is a symptom commonly mischaracterized as experiencing insomnia. However, insomnia is an entirely separate medical condition that revolves around wanting to sleep but being unable to rest. Meanwhile, bipolar patients simply don’t feel the need to sleep at all during a manic episode.
Bipolar disorder sign #5. Missed commitments
Type: Manic and Depressive
It’s common for bipolar sufferers to skip out on important commitments that they have previously arranged. For example, this can involve skipping out on showing up to work, doctor’s appointments or outings with friends. To reinforce how important this symptom can be – one of the key diagnostics of bipolar disorder involves determining if the sufferer’s symptoms are severe enough to impede their everyday life. When experiencing a manic episode, patients may skip out on their commitments if they consider alternative interests to be more important. This is a life-changing habit. Alternatively, during a depressive episode, one may not feel like getting out of bed at all in order to meet their daily obligations.
Bipolar disorder sign #4. Mood swings
Type: Manic and Depressive
Mood swings are the most common symptom that can be found in bipolar sufferers. Mood swings often bring about a combination of manic and depressive symptoms which can spark extreme emotion in the lives of those who have the disorder. Manic and depressive episodes can last anywhere from only a few days, to weeks or even months at a time. Those who experience mood swings also often experience a buffer period known as “hypomania.” Hypomania is considered to be a mild manic period which doesn’t heavily impede sufferers from living their lives. It’s also fairly common for people to experience mood instability in the days leading up to a full-blown manic or depressive episode, which is a more subtle sign to watch for.
Bipolar disorder sign #3. Fatigue
Those experiencing a depressive episode often feel extremely tired before their day has even begun. Feeling the need to stay in bed, watch television and avoid speaking with friends often comes with the territory of feeling fatigued. These are strong signs of having bipolar disorder. In addition to feeling physically fatigued, patients may also feel mentally worn down as well. Experiencing strong brain fog or mental exhaustion even after getting adequate sleep is a common sign of feeling stuck in a depressive state.
Bipolar disorder sign #2. Rapid speech
Rapid speech is a powerful indicator that someone is experiencing a manic episode. Bipolar patients will often suddenly begin to speak quickly and extensively on subjects that may not be relevant. These patterns of rapid speech typically do not follow logical thought sequences, and may come across as being jumbled. Rapid speech is ultimately a result of the significant increase in energy that one gains while experiencing a manic episode. When a bipolar patient feels overstimulated due to mania, rapid speech is one of the earliest symptoms that can be detected.
Bipolar disorder sign #1. Overwhelming sadness
One of the most clear signs of a depressive episode is feeling overly sad without reason. Feeling hopeless is a major characteristic of the disorder, which will impact almost every aspect of a bipolar sufferer’s life. This is the complete opposite of experiencing manic euphoria – since feeling overwhelming sadness is a depressive symptom that can make patients feel their absolute worst. If left untreated, overwhelming sadness can lead to a loss of interest in normal hobbies and personal relationships, or even suicidal thoughts.
How to deal with the symptoms of bipolar disorder
If you or someone who you know is showing the signs of what you believe to be bipolar disorder, you should immediately seek professional medical help.
While the symptoms of bipolar disorder may sound drastic, there are modern medicines, discreet medical services, and even holistic alternatives that can make the life of a bipolar sufferer significantly healthier and happier.
Remember that life is always worth living, and one can always fight through the struggles and symptoms which millions of bipolar sufferers deal with on a day-to-day basis. You are not alone.
The 3 most important natural treatments that can significantly improve symptoms of bipolar disorder
While it’s always best to prioritize the advice of a medical professional, there are also some natural options that have been shown to improve the symptoms of bipolar disorder.
Natural treatments and supplements for bipolar disorder can often help you stabilize your mood, provide you with positive energy, and make you feel much more invigorated about attacking life.
Here are the three most important natural treatment options that can significantly improve the symptoms of bipolar disorder…
Premium fish oil can flood your brain with omega-3 fatty acids like DHA and EPA. These fatty acids can have a life-changing effect on how you think, act and live your day-to-day life. Most people experience feelings of warmth, happiness and well-being after supplementing with high-quality fish oil for a number of weeks.
You might also find yourself thinking more clearly after using good fish oil, and helping to stabilize your mood.
Food-based multivitamin for mental well-being
A food-based “brain & focus” multivitamin is a simple supplement that can have a profound impact on your mood and level of happiness. Because fatigue is a common depressive symptom that people with bipolar disorder face, making sure that you’re getting all of your b vitamins will help you stay energized and mentally alert throughout the day.
Rainbow Light’s Brain & Focus Multivitamin also contains ingredients like choline, American ginseng and l-theanine which can give you the motivation to exercise, visit with friends and socialize.
Magnesium citramate is an ingredient that I rave about on this website because of how much it can relax and calm you. While I tend to take my magnesium citramate at night before going off to bed, you can use magnesium at any time of the day to feel significantly more cool and calm. It’s amazing how many people don’t realize that they have a magnesium deficiency. Odds are strong that you’re missing out on this powerful ingredient in your life. And, if you suffer from bipolar disorder, magnesium citramate can especially help you with falling asleep, sleeping more deeply, and having more energy during the day.
Bipolar disorder signs, symptoms and treatment options conclusion
If you’ve made it this far down in the article, I truly appreciate you taking the time to absorb all of the information that I’ve laid out for you.
I hope that this article helps you gain a better understanding of the signs and symptoms to look for in bipolar disorder.
And most importantly, I hope that this article puts you in a better position to acquire the help that you need.
If you have any comments about bipolar disorder, or natural treatments for bipolar disorder that you’d like to see added to this article, make sure to leave your feedback in the comments section below.