Mood swings – we all experience them, right? One day you’re feeling on top of the world, the next day you’re irritable and yelling at drivers while in traffic. Some attribute the shift to bad days, hormones, or just feeling a little bit funky. For others, these mood swings are persistent and unpredictable, causing problems with work, friends, and family.
Bipolar disorder affects approximately 4 percent of Americans, according to the American Psychological Association. This condition, also commonly referred to as manic-depression, is a mental health problem marked by intense mood swings from feeling overly happy and excited (mania) to overly sad or depressed (depressive). The kind of moods that affect the general population are much more serious for those with bipolar disorder and can worsen for these people if left untreated.
Bipolar disorder has varying degrees that correspond to the severity and frequency of manic or depressive episodes. While all are noted by unusual shifts to extreme moods, mania or depression can occur separately from each other (with one being more frequent) or can happen simultaneously (called mixed episodes).
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As stated above, those with bipolar disorder often have instances of extreme happiness or sadness that are unusual or unpredictable. How can you tell this from a run-of-the-mill mood swing? Let’s look at some symptoms:
Other general symptoms also include memory problems, changes in appetite or weight, and feelings of sluggishness both physically and mentally. Bipolar disorder can affect people in more severe ways, too, such as when a person experiences forms of psychosis. Bipolar psychosis can exhibit itself as delusions or hallucinations, causing a person to think he/she is someone else.
The longer bipolar disorder goes untreated, the more severe it can become. It’s imperative to seek professional treatment should you experience bipolar episodes or think you may be bipolar. This disorder is manageable and, with proper treatment, a person can live a happy, healthy and well-rounded life. Call us at any time to speak to someone who can guide you in the right direction.