Bipolar Disorder is a mental health condition that is characterized by extreme mood swings that result in either a highly elated and manic mood or a very low depressive state. These mood swings are significant meaning you go through different stages of feeling good and having a high sense of self, confidence, and energy. On the other end of the spectrum, once feelings of euphoria end, people with Bipolar will then fall into a depressive state. They may experience feelings of worthlessness, may isolate from others, and often have suicidal thoughts. Through the use of medications and counseling, symptoms can decrease and help people balance their emotions.
How do I know if I have Bipolar Disorder?
You may be questioning whether or not you have Bipolar and what the symptoms are. If you feel you identify with some of these symptoms, it may be helpful to talk further with a professional counselor to evaluate and discuss treatment options. Keep in mind, there are different types of Bipolar disorders and we will talk about those in more detail below. If you have any questions, please contact me at (720) 217-5501 or email me and I can provide guidance and support.
Symptoms and Types of Bipolar
Types of Bipolar:
- Bipolar I disorder. You’ve had at least one manic episode that may be preceded or followed by hypomanic or major depressive episodes. In some cases, mania may trigger a break from reality (psychosis).
- Bipolar II disorder. You’ve had at least one major depressive episode and at least one hypomanic episode, but you’ve never had a manic episode.
- Cyclothymic disorder. You’ve had at least two years — or one year in children and teenagers — of many periods of hypomania symptoms and periods of depressive symptoms (though less severe than major depression).
- Other types. These include, for example, bipolar and related disorders induced by certain drugs or alcohol or due to a medical condition, such as Cushing’s disease, multiple sclerosis or stroke.
Bipolar II disorder is not a milder form of bipolar I disorder, but a separate diagnosis. While the manic episodes of bipolar I disorder can be severe and dangerous, individuals with bipolar II disorder can be depressed for longer periods, which can cause significant impairment. Although bipolar disorder can occur at any age, typically it’s diagnosed in the teenage years or early 20s. Symptoms can vary from person to person, and symptoms may vary over time.
Manic and Hypomanic Symptoms:
- Abnormally upbeat, jumpy or wired
- Increased activity, energy or agitation
- Exaggerated sense of well-being and self-confidence (euphoria)
- Decreased need for sleep
- Unusual talkativeness
- Racing thoughts
- Poor decision-making — for example, going on buying sprees, taking sexual risks or making foolish investments
Major Depressive Episodes:
A major depressive episode includes symptoms that are severe enough to cause noticeable problems in day-to-day activities, such as work, school, social activities or relationships. An episode includes five or more of these symptoms:
- Depressed mood, such as feeling sad, empty, hopeless or tearful (in children and teens, depressed mood can appear as irritability)
- Marked loss of interest or feeling no pleasure in all — or almost all — activities
- Significant weight loss when not dieting, weight gain, or decrease or increase in appetite (in children, failure to gain weight as expected can be a sign of depression)
- Either insomnia or sleeping too much
- Either restlessness or slowed behavior
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt
- Decreased ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness
- Thinking about, planning or attempting suicide
If you believe you have some of these symptoms and want further support, counseling can help! Give me a call at (720) 217-5501 or email me and we can set up an appointment to chat. I’m here to answer any questions you may have and to provide guidance.