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Bipolar Disorder Guide

Bipolar Disorder Articles


A Bipolar Disorder Checklist to Identify the Symptoms

A Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis is Difficult to Make 

A Bipolar Quiz Helps Diagnose if the Disorder is Present

A Bipolar Test Will Identify the Severity of the Disorder

Bipolar Disease Has Many Extreme Levels

Bipolar Disorder in Children Can Present Different Than in Adults

Bipolar Medications Must be Carefully Monitored

Bipolar Symptoms For the Awareness of the Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Treatment Through Medication and Counseling

Dealing with Bipolar Disorder Takes Time and Patience

The Behaviors of Bipolar Disorder are Disruptive to Everyone

The Chemistry of Bipolar Disorder is an Ongoing Study

The Family Suffers When a Mother Has Bipolar Disorder

The History of Bipolar Disorder Shows It Has Always Existed

The Relationship of Bipolar and Depression

The Types of Bipolar Support Programs That Can Help


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Bipolar Symptoms for Awareness of the Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder typically begins in adolescence or early adulthood and continues throughout life. It is often not recognized at first as a serious disorder, and people who have it may suffer needlessly for years or even decades. Bipolar symptoms occurs in between 1 in 100 and 1 in 200 people. The disorder occurs equally among men and women, different racial and ethnic groups, and different social classes. Bipolar disorder, previously known as manic depression is a serious but treatable medical illness that occurs in all age groups. It is a disorder of the brain marked by extreme changes in mood, energy and behavior.

Bipolar symptoms of mania and depression may be mixed together in any combination, but the person experiences mood swings from intense lows to extreme highs. Symptoms of the disorder can interfere with daily activities, and severe cases carry a risk of suicide. Until recently, the illness, which appears to run in families, was seldom diagnosed in children. Symptoms are more likely to come back and may get even worse unless the disorder is treated with medication over time. It's important to stick with a treatment program.

Traditional bipolar testing involves a series of in-depth questions to characterize the highs and lows of a person’s emotions over a period of time.  These include:

  • Having moods much better than usual
  • Moods of depression seemingly without a cause
  • Rapid speech and domination of conversations
  • Little or no need for sleep
  • Racing thoughts and trouble concentrating for periods of time
  • A continuous level of high energy
  • Overconfidence as an extreme
  • Delusions which may be grandiose and/or include paranoia

The bipolar symptoms can be defined as points on a continuous spectrum.  They may show on a graph from 1 – 10 as manic or depression closer to the extreme 10 or they may appear less severe and grade a 5 or lower.

Bipolar symptoms can fall anywhere on that line, which means the severity and length of each manic and depressive episode can vary. One person might experience extreme and lengthy depression, but milder mania, or vice versa. Bipolar symptoms can be disastrous for any person. It is actually a severe depression that affects individuals of all ages. Bipolar symptoms make it hard to sleep, and lack of sleep increases the bipolar symptoms. It's a vicious cycle that continues and may escalate throughout the individual's life.

Bipolar symptoms may appear in a variety of behaviors. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, up to one-third of the 3.4 million children with depression in the United States may actually be experiencing the early onset of bipolar disorder. Bipolar symptoms may be complicated rather than cured by drug therapy. Bipolar symptoms are characterized by emotional disturbances, which can be identified as a change in a person, the mood, energy and ability to function. It may further be distinguished by the person experiencing cycles of manic episodes.

Mania manifests itself in a more recognizable, pronounced syndrome as you approach thirty. Mania can seriously impair one's normal judgment. When manic, a person is prone towards reckless and inappropriate behavior such as engaging in wild spending sprees or having promiscuous sex.

Mania is not the same as simple happiness. It can have a pleasant feel to it, but the person who is experiencing mania is not experiencing reality. Mania in childhood bipolar disorder is more likely to appear as irritability and destructive outbursts. Children are less likely to appear happy or euphoric.

Hypomania, a less severe diagnosis of bipolar disorder, may develop into full-blown mania. Hypomania is a markedly elevated or irritable mood accompanied by increased physical and mental energy. Hypomania combined with a less pronounced and more longstanding form of depression (known as Dysthymia) is referred to as Cyclothymia.