Mental illness is hard to identify, since everyone goes through the associated symptoms at one time or other in their lives. Mood disorders are more difficult to pinpoint, particularly in people with bipolar disorder since the symptoms jump from one extreme to the other, making you feel like you are making a mistake. Look out for the following signs to recognize if someone around you has bipolar disorder, but do not come to conclusions without proper consultation.
1. The moods ups and downs are extreme. The highs are Mount Everest and the depths are Mariana’s Trench.
2. The person will go through episodes of mania followed by depression.
3. The first appearance of manic or depressive episode will have happened in their teen years.
4. The energy levels are highly affected during each episode, reaching extremes on both ends.
5. Sleeping patterns vary. One day the person may be up and running with 2 hours of sleep; whereas on other days, he/she may need more than 16 hours of sleep.
6. During heightened energy, the individual will exhibit great creativity and euphoria, which could impress anyone.
7. The speed of talk increases to an extent that you may find it difficult to follow.
8. They get a grandiose feeling, as though they were destined for great achievements.
9. They may feel more powerful than they actually are, be it socially, physically or mentally.
10. All of a sudden they exhibit reckless behavior.
11. Impulsive behavior may include proclamation of love or sexual acts.
12. Spending sprees during an euphoric phase can leave them bankrupt.
13. Racing thoughts may make the person jump from one idea to the next quickly.
14. Easily distracted and unable to concentrate.
15. Impaired judgment leading to irresponsible acts without consideration of consequences.
16. Delusions and hallucinations may be present only in severe cases.
17. The person will refuse to agree there is a problem.
18. When depression sets in, the euphoria changes to misery and melancholy.
19. The person may sleep for lengthy periods, which may interfere in daily chores.
20. The person loses ability to experience pleasure.
21. Overcome by feelings of worthlessness, guilt, remorse and self-blame.
22. The person may exhibit suicidal thoughts and tendencies which should not be ignored.
23. Greatly fatigued, the person is unable to do anything much either physically or mentally.
If you observe the above mentioned symptoms and mood swings ruining someone’s life, guide them towards proper counselling. With proper treatment and therapies, bipolar disorder can be managed by easing out the symptoms that interfere with living a normal, productive life.