How to Recognize and Cope with Extreme Mood Swings of Bipolar Disorder

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is a mental illness that causes extreme shifts in mood, energy, and activity levels. A person with bipolar disorder will have periods of extremely “up”, energized, and active moods called mania. This is followed by periods of very “down” and depressed moods.

Common Symptoms

There are four main types of symptoms people with bipolar disorder often experience:

Mood Swings

The defining feature is extreme changes in mood. During a manic episode, a person may feel very happy, energized, and optimistic. But their mood can quickly swing the other way into a deep depression with feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and lack of energy.

Sleep Problems

Bipolar disorder disrupts normal sleep patterns. When manic, sleep may be reduced which fuels extra energy. But depression brings excessive sleeping or poor quality sleep despite feeling tired.

Changes in Thinking and Behavior

When manic, impulsive actions like reckless spending, sex, or decisions may occur. Depression brings guilty, hopeless thoughts and sometimes suicide thoughts. These changes impact daily life.

Social Troubles

Mania could make people overly social but easily irritated. Depression isolates people as they withdraw. This loneliness worsens their emotional state.

Getting Help

The mood swings and symptoms of bipolar disorder can be distressing but treatment exists. Seeing a doctor or therapist early allows them to properly diagnose and treat the illness. With medication and therapy, people can better manage their bipolar disorder and live fulfilling lives.

In Summary

Bipolar disorder causes extreme fluctuations between mania and depression, disrupting mood, sleep, thinking, behavior and social life. But recognizing the signs is key to getting effective treatment and regaining stability and happiness.

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