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Bipolar Disorder Symptoms

Bipolar disorder is also known as manic-depressive illness. It is a mental disorder that causes extreme highs and lows in energy levels and the mood of a person. This happens more often and for a longer period of time than regular mood swings in a person. The extreme highs are known as manic episodes and the lows as depressive episodes. It can lead to depression and in extreme cases to suicide too. It starts in adolescence and occurs earlier in men than in women. Bipolar disorder is extremely difficult to identify as some of its symptoms are mistaken to be of other illnesses or are attributed to general life occurrences like doing badly at school, substance abuse or unhappy at the workplace.

It is important to keep a close lookout for these certain symptoms and the severity and frequency of the same. We are going to categorize them into 2 major sections- Mania & Depression.

Mania- (the highs)

Easily distracted and irritated
An excessive amount of energy and high levels of activity
Insomnia
Poor sense of judgment affecting decision making (personally & professionally)
Indulge in high risk-taking activities like drug abuse, reckless sex & uncalculated spending sprees

Depression- (the lows)

Extreme loss of appetite or overeating resulting in weight fluctuations
Loss of energy, mood & sleep
Lack of cognitive ability, difficulty in decision making and carrying out daily chores
The feeling of guilt and worthlessness
Suicidal tendencies and suicidal attempts

These symptoms are often difficult to identify but if closely noticed and its occurrence is regular then one must make it a point be aware of what is happening. Some of these symptoms are similar to other disorders like substance abuse & eating disorders. A person with bipolar disorder must also be aware that they are at a higher risk of getting thyroid, obesity, diabetes and other physical illnesses. Some of these start as basic symptoms and if identified by a counsellor on the onset of it, the disorder can even be avoided. Mental health should be given equal if not more importance than physical health. The mind controls the entire body and good mental health, in turn, facilitates good physical health.