Bipolar Disorder: 10 Behaviors that Mean it’s Time to Get Help
Many of you have asked for more information on Bipolar Disorder. I know a few people with this Mental Health Disorder. I will be sharing information on Bipolar throughout the year. This first post is on 10 Behaviors that mean it’s time to get help, I hope you will find it helpful.
Please feel free to leave comments if you feel there are other behaviors not listed below. This would be of help to anyone thinking they or a loved one may have this disorder. Sexual obsession & actions is a behavior I would add to the list below. And that you can be ANY age for being diagnosed as Bipolar!
By Leslie Vandever
Bipolar (also known as manic depression) can be a life-altering, terribly devastating mental health problem. A disorder that varies in symptoms and severity from person to person and from symptom to symptom, it can cause drastic mood swings and negative behaviors.
There are several different subtypes of bipolar disorder. Each have distinct symptoms:
- BIPOLAR I is the worst. It may cause significant trouble with your job, school, or relationships. The manic episodes it causes can be severe and even dangerous.
- BIPOLAR II is a less severe form of bipolar. While you may experience mood swings and changes in how you function from day to day, the associated mania is milder (hypomania) and less disruptive. Depressive periods generally last longer than manic periods.
- CYCLOTHYMIC DISORDER (cyclothymia) is a mild form of bipolar disorder. The mood swings can be disruptive, but not as severe as bipolar I or II.
Bipolar symptoms, taken individually, aren’t necessarily diagnostic of the disorder. But if you find yourself experiencing several of them—or even one of them—frequently or for extended periods, and they’re causing disruption and trouble in your life, reach out for help. This disorder affects how we think, how we feel, and how we perceive the world around us. It’s notoriously difficult to handle alone.
Below are 10 signs of bipolar disorders (also known as manic depression) that clearly say it’s time to get help.
- You don’t sleep much—you may even have insomnia—but you still feel like you’re bursting with energy anyway.
- Your thoughts race constantly with out-of-control hops, skips, and leaps from one subject or tangent to another, often without reason, pattern, or context.
- Your judgment is poor. You don’t consider the consequences before you make and act on decisions. Being so uninhibitedly impulsive may result in emotional, financial, or even physical harm and trouble to yourself or others. Spending sprees are common.
- You’re optimistic and happy—even euphoric—for no particular reason. On the other hand, you may be terribly low, depressed, and irritable, again without any discernable reason. These drastic mood shifts may come on suddenly. You can’t predict them.
- You run your mouth, talking so fast or so non-stop that others can’t converse or keep up with you.
- Your beliefs about your own intellect, abilities, and powers are greatly inflated and grandiose. This type of thinking may prompt you to make decisions and do things that are harmful to you or others.
- Your ability to concentrate is impaired; you can be distracted easily. You flit from one subject or project to the next, unable to really finish anything, make decisions or take action when it’s needed.
- You may suffer delusions or psychosis (break from reality), or suffer chronic pain without a cause.
- You increase your activity level and take on multiple new projects without considering how you’ll accomplish them all.
- You may feel guilty, sad, anxious, and hopeless and think often about death or suicide. You may even attempt to kill yourself.
There are several possible causes for bipolar disorder, including biological, physical changes in the brain, an imbalance of brain chemicals (neurotransmitters), genetics, hormones, and the environment (including stressful life circumstances and events).
The good news is that bipolar disorder can be treated and controlled with a variety of medications, several types of therapy, or (if necessary) hospitalization. Avoiding alcohol and drug abuse, and unhealthy relationships, can have a significant beneficial effect on bipolar disorder, as well. Getting plenty of sleep and regular exercise is also helpful in controlling it.
For more information about this or other health-related subjects, visit Healthline.
Leslie Vandever is a professional journalist and freelance writer with more than 25 years of experience. She lives in the foothills of Northern California.