14 Early Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
What is bipolar disorder?
At first glance, it's okay. For example, in the morning you want to sing and dance for the joy that you live. In the middle of the day, you suddenly get angry with friends who distract you from something important. By evening, you find severe depression, when it’s impossible even to raise a hand… Familiar?
The line between mood swings and manic-depressive psychosis (as the second name for this disease sounds) is thin. But it is.
The attitude of those who suffer from bipolar disorder constantly jumps between the two poles. From the extreme maximum («What a pleasure to just live and do something!») to no less extreme minimum («Everything is bad, we will all die. So maybe there’s nothing to wait, it's time to get your hands on yourself?!») Highs are called periods of mania. Lows — periods of depression.
Manic-depressive psychosis exhausts worsen relationships with others, dramatically reduces the quality of life, and ultimately can lead to suicide.
Where does bipolar disorder come from?
The mood swings are familiar to many and are not considered out of the ordinary. Therefore, bipolar disorder is quite difficult to diagnose. Nevertheless, scientists are coping with this all the more successfully. In 2005, for example, it was found that manic-depressive psychosis in one form or another affects about 5 million Americans.
However, despite the large statistical sample, the exact causes of bipolar disorders have not yet been determined.It is only known that:
- Manic-depressive psychosis can occur at any age. Although most often appears in late adolescence and early adulthood.
- It can be caused by genetics. If one of your ancestors suffered this disease, there is a risk that it will knock on you as well.
- The disorder is associated with an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. Mainly — serotonin.
- The trigger sometimes becomes severe stress or trauma...
How to recognize early symptoms of bipolar disorder?
To fix unhealthy mood swings, first, you need to find out if you are experiencing emotional extremes — mania and depression.Seven signs of mania
- You experience a spiritual upsurge and a sense of happiness for long (from several hours or more) periods.
- You have a reduced need for sleep.
- You have a quick speech. And so much so that those around you do not always understand, and you do not have time to formulate your thoughts. As a result, chatting in instant messengers or via e-mails is easier for you than talking to people alive.
- You are an impulsive person: act first, then think.
- You are easily distracted and jump from one thing to another. Because of this, the resulting productivity often suffers.
- You are confident in your abilities. It seems to you that you are faster and quicker than most others.
- Often you exhibit risky behavior. For example, you agree to have sex with a stranger, but something that you can not afford, take part in spontaneous street racing at traffic lights.
- You often experience protracted (from several hours or more) periods of unmotivated sadness and hopelessness.
- Lock yourself in. It's hard for you to get out of your own shell. Therefore, you limit contacts even with family and friends.
- You have lost interest in those things that before you really clung, and did not acquire anything new in return.
- Your appetite has changed: it has sharply decreased or, on the contrary, you no longer control how much and what you eat.
- You regularly feel tired and lack of energy. And such periods last quite a while.
- You have problems with memory, concentration and decision making.
- You sometimes think about suicide. Catch yourself thinking that life has lost your taste.
Affective insanity — this is when you recognize yourself in almost all of the situations described above. At some point in your life, you clearly have signs of mania, in another — symptoms of depression.
However, sometimes it also happens that the symptoms of mania and depression manifest themselves simultaneously and you cannot understand what phase you are in. This condition is called a mixed mood and is also one of the signs of bipolar disorder...
What is bipolar disorder?
Depending on which episodes occur more often (manic or depressive) and how pronounced they are, bipolar disorder is divided into several types.
- The disorder of the first type. It’s severe, alternating periods of mania and depression are strong and deep.
- A disorder of the second type. Mania does not manifest itself too brightly, but it covers depression as globally as in the case of the first type. By the way, Catherine Zeta-Jones was diagnosed with just that. In the case of the actress, the trigger for the development of the disease was throat cancer, which her husband fought for a long time. — Michael Douglas.
Regardless of what type of manic-depressive psychosis we are talking about, the disease, in any case, requires treatment. And preferably — quicker.
What to do if you suspect you have bipolar disorder?
Do not ignore your feelings. If you know 10 or more of the above symptoms, this is an occasion to consult a doctor. Especially if from time to time you find yourself suicidal.
First, go to the therapist. Your doctor will suggest that you do some research, including a urine test, as well as blood tests for thyroid hormone levels. Often, hormonal problems (in particular, developing diabetes, hypo- and hyperthyroidism) are similar to bipolar disorder. It is important to exclude them. Or treat if they show up.
The next step will be a visit to a psychologist or psychiatrist. You will have to answer questions about your lifestyle, mood changes, relationships with other people, childhood memories, injuries, as well as a family history of illnesses and drug incidents...
Based on the information received, a specialist will prescribe treatment. It can be either behavioral therapy or medication...