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3 Signs of Bipolar Disorder

Jan 11, 2023
3 Signs of Bipolar Disorder
Mental illness is difficult for many people to deal with, in part because you don’t always know you have one. Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that presents in many ways, and if you think you have it here are some signs to look for.

We have a lot of misconceptions about people with mental illnesses, including assuming character flaws in those struggling, assuming that people with them should be avoided, or, for millions, just trying to ignore it altogether. The fact is far more people struggle with some sort of mental illness, with one in six teens struggling with depressive episodes and one in 20 Americans dealing with serious mental disorders.

Bipolar disorder (formerly known as manic depression) is a mental health condition that around 4.4% of American adults will be diagnosed with during their lifetime, and if we continue to dismiss, ignore, and ostracize people struggling with it, the signs will continue being hard to find, and people won’t get the help they need. To manage bipolar disorder, you have to know what symptoms to look for, so let’s examine what this condition is, find out its causes and risks factors, and finally learn what signs to look for.

If you live in the Kingwood or The Woodlands area of Texas and you’re struggling with the signs of bipolar disorder or some other mental illness, Dr. Athi Venkatesh and his team at Kingwood Psychiatry can help.

Understanding bipolar disorder

This chronic mental condition went by the manic depression label for many years because one of its major components is the severity of mood swings people struggling with it deal with, going from manic highs to depressive lows in short periods of time with little to no warning. Manic episodes typically have you struggling with irritability, highly energized, talkative and wildly physically and mentally active. Extreme emotional changes are also common. Depressive episodes are just the opposite, with feelings of fatigue, loss of interest, appetite changes, and feeling despondent and hopeless.

There are actually a few types of bipolar disorder:

  • Bipolar I disorder: With this form, people have experienced both mania and depression, with more than one manic episode
  • Bipolar II disorder: This type has people experiencing more depressive than hypomanic (a less severe type of mania) episodes often with chronic depression
  • Cyclothymic disorder (cyclothymia): With this type people deal with chronic, unstable moods for at least two years with brief periods of normality (euthymia)

Causes and risk factors

What causes bipolar disorder isn’t entirely understood, but genetic factors such as a family history of the condition or biological disparities in brain chemistry can lead to dealing with it. Research is still underway to understand the specific genes that cause this illness. Other factors that can contribute to bipolar disorder include drug or alcohol abuse, traumatic events that cause high amounts of stress, and close relatives dealing with the problem.

Symptoms to look for

Because of the very nature of these conditions the symptoms will change, but if you’re not certain you have this illness, here are some signs you should look for:

1. Depressive signs

Depression in bipolar disorder often presents itself with some of the symptoms mentioned above and excess sleeping, difficulty sleeping, difficulty concentrating, sluggishness, appetite or weight changes, difficulty concentrating, and feelings of guilt and shame.

2. Manic signs

In addition to being overly energetic and highly active, manic episodes also cause decreased sleep, indecision, or compromised decision-making, overconfidence in your abilities, racing thoughts, and an inappropriately high sense of well-being.

3. Other related signs

Energy fluctuations, extended periods of either mood extreme, suicidal thoughts, and even other mental health conditions (ADHD, eating disorders, psychosis) can be signs of bipolar disorder.

This is a long-term condition, but with the proper care it can be managed. So if you are showing signs of bipolar disorder or other mental health problems, please make an appointment with Dr. Venkatesh and Kingwood Psychiatry today to get better.