You're tired of pretending that everything is alright, tired of telling yourself there is really nothing wrong with you, or that you are just having a bad day...week... month.
You realize that you definitely have a problem, but you just aren't sure what the problem is, though you have your suspicions. You may be asking yourself "Am I bipolar? Why do I feel this way?"
After reading through the symptoms listed in the paragraphs below, you may recognize yourself. You may have bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression. People with bipolar disorder typically have dramatic mood swings that range from a manic high to a deep depression. Everyone normally experiences a range of emotional highs and lows, but the bipolar individual's are much more intense, and can disrupt daily life in a big way.
The Manic Phase
Am I bipolar? When a person who is bipolar is having a manic episode, their mind races from idea to idea, though they do not realize it is even happening. They have a problem settling on any of them, so they flit from one whim to another with reckless abandon. Even unrealistic goals seem easily within reach.
Unable to concentrate, they also have a hard time sleeping, so busy is their mind. Plans are made and then abandoned for something that sounds even better. When questioned by concerned friends and family about their grandiose plans, the bipolar individual always believes he has a logical excuse for his actions.
During a manic episode, rapid, almost non-stop speech on a variety of disconnected topics is common. Conversation can become paranoid in tone, and even incoherent at times, as the bipolar victim rambles on and on about imagined dangers.
It is not unusual for auditory hallucinations to accompany this phase. The illness can cause voices to be heard. These imagined voices sometimes instruct the sufferer, who is always surprised that no one else can hear what he does, to perform certain tasks. This can be dangerous, as confusion and delusion reign, and there is a possibility the victim does not remember his own identity or know where he is. Anger and hostility are both common.
When these things occur, hospitalization is vital.
Also common during the manic phase is euphoria. A person with this illness will seem to be in an extremely good mood, and on an unnatural high. They will feel as if they are in love with the world and everyone in it. During this time, impulsive behaviors including extravagant spending sprees and sexual promiscuity can be a problem.
The Onset Of Depression
Then suddenly, the party is over. In quick fashion, the euphoric happiness leaves, and the feeling is as if you are all alone in the world with the shades drawn tightly. The victim loses interest in everything and every one. Work, school, social obligations are all too much effort, as is personal hygiene.
Self-esteem is shot. Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and despair can segue into uncontrollable crying fits. Alcohol and/or drugs are commonly abused during this phase. Suicidal thoughts can also come to the forefront of the bipolar person's psyche. This is another instance where immediate medical care is required.
Am I Bipolar?
There are times when those who suffer from bipolar disorder will experience what is known as a mixed episode. They can be both manic and depressed, slowly or quickly cycling through all the mood swings noted above.
If you or someone you know has any of the above symptoms, they may be suffering from bipolar disorder. It is essential to seek treatment as soon as possible. These feelings will not go away without intervention. Medication and counseling can make this illness much easier to deal with for all concerned.
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