Bipolar disorder as a mental illness is marked by extreme mood swings from very high highs to extreme low, and vice versa. Highs are periods of mania where one is extremely excited, while lows are periods of depression.
Symptoms tend to appear in a person’s late teens or early adult years, but they can occur in children as well. Women are more likely to receive bipolar diagnoses than men.
The signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder vary depending on the condition and are generally divided into those for mania, and those for depression.
According to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the following signs have been established during the two episodes of bipolar:
Mania phase signs.
- Feeling overly happy or “high” for long periods of time
- Having a decreased need for sleep and extremely energized
- Talking very fast, often with racing thoughts that others cannot keep up.
- Feeling extremely restless or impulsive
- Becoming easily distracted and being unable to concentrate.
- Having overconfidence in your abilities
- Engaging in risky behavior, such as having impulsive sex, gambling with life savings, or going on big spending sprees
- Feeling unusually “high” and optimistic OR extremely irritable
- Unrealistic, grandiose beliefs about one’s abilities or powers
- Delusions and hallucinations (in severe cases)