What is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness that causes extreme shifts in mood and energy. People with bipolar experience periods of extremely “high” or energized moods called mania. They also have very “low” or sad moods called depression. Let’s take a look at what happens when someone has bipolar disorder.
One of the main symptoms is big changes in mood. A person with bipolar may feel really happy and energized one moment, then really sad or tired the next. These mood shifts can happen very quickly, over just a few hours or days. It causes their emotions to swing back and forth.
Sleep can be a big problem when moods change. During a manic phase, sleep may be the last thing on their mind – they’ll feel so energized that resting is impossible. But depression can cause just the opposite – all they want to do is sleep. It’s hard to function when sleep is so out of whack.
Thoughts and Focus
Bipolar can disrupt how a person thinks and pays attention too. When manic, thoughts may race by so fast they feel scrambled. And depression can make it tough to concentrate on anything. Even everyday decisions become a struggle. Clearly, disrupted thinking makes life very challenging.
A person’s views of themselves also vary with bipolar mood shifts. Mania may inflate self-confidence to reckless heights. Whereas depression often brings severe self-doubt and helplessness. Constantly changing self-perceptions take a mental and emotional toll.
Some cope with bipolar moods through impulsive actions like compulsive shopping sprees, substance abuse, or risky sexual encounters. While these temporarily relieve distress, they create new problems down the road. Steady support helps manage such risky urges.
Understandably, bipolar disorder affects relationships and social life too. When depressed, isolating oneself seems easiest. But a good support system makes bipolar much more manageable. With proper treatment including therapy and medication, many are able to live fulfilling lives.
In summary, bipolar disorder causes extreme and irregular fluctuations in several important areas of life. But recognizing its symptoms is key to getting effective help that stabilizes emotions and minimizes disruptions. With care and understanding, one can achieve wellness even with this challenging illness.