I experience extreme changes in mood
Bipolar disorder used to be known as manic depression. While we have all experienced mood swings to a certain extent, persons with bipolar disorder experience cycles of extreme moods swing, i.e., of feeling low (depressed) and high (mania). When a person experiences the low, the symptoms are similar to that of clinical depression. When a person experiences the high, they may be displaying elevated/irritable and/or arousal of energy level. This is more common known as mania.
Am I having bipolar disorder?
If you are having bipolar disorder, you will experience symptoms of depression and mania at different times. Common symptoms of mania (abnormally elevated mood, feeling 'high'):
- Increase in energy levels
- Impulsive, taking unnecessary risks or being reckless
- Increased sex drive.
- Increased spending
- Racing thoughts/Pressured speech
- Inflated esteem
- Grandiose ideas
- Hallucinations and/or delusions
- Decreased need for sleep
Common symptoms of depression:
- Loss of interest in pleasurable activities and daily routine
- Worrying and negative thinking
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Weight loss or weight gain (without dieting)
- Irritability, agitation and fatigue
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Feelings of hopelessness
Why do I develop bipolar disorder?
The development of bipolar disorder is often a result of an interaction of factors that include: Biological
- Having a family member diagnosed with mood disorders increases your risk of having bipolar disorder, as there is strong evidence to support a close link between the illness and familial ties.
- An imbalance in the chemicals naturally occurring in the brain which also affects mood regulation.
Environmental factors and stress
- Environmental factors (eg, distressing life events) and stress are often considered as contributing factors in triggering the illness.