Life is a journey filled with ups and downs, but for individuals with bipolar disorder, these emotional fluctuations can be extreme and overwhelming.

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide, causing dramatic shifts in mood, energy and activity levels. While everyone experiences occasional mood swings, recognizing the signs of bipolar disorder and knowing when to seek help are crucial steps in managing this condition effectively.

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder, once known as manic depression, is a chronic mental health condition characterized by extreme mood swings. Individuals with bipolar disorder experience two main mood episodes:

Depressive Episodes

During depressive episodes, a person feels intense sadness, hopelessness and a lack of interest or pleasure in activities they once enjoyed. This state of low mood can lead to fatigue, difficulty sleeping and changes in appetite.

Manic Episodes

Conversely, manic episodes are marked by heightened energy levels, euphoria, impulsivity, and an inflated sense of self-confidence. Individuals in a manic state may engage in risky behaviors and have racing thoughts, making it challenging to focus or maintain a regular sleep schedule.

Common Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

Depressive Symptoms

  • Prolonged sadness or emptiness
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Manic Symptoms

  • Elevated mood and excessive excitement
  • Increased energy and reduced need for sleep
  • Rapid speech and racing thoughts
  • Impulsive and reckless behaviors
  • Grandiose beliefs or unrealistic ideas
  • Irritability and agitation

Recognizing the Need for Help

Recognizing that you or someone you care about may need help for bipolar disorder can be challenging, as some symptoms may overlap with normal emotional responses. However, if you notice the following signs, seeking professional assistance is essential:

Interference with Daily Life

Bipolar symptoms can significantly disrupt an individual’s personal and professional life. If you or someone you know is struggling to maintain relationships, work or daily responsibilities due to extreme mood swings, it may be time to seek help.

Self-Harm or Suicidal Thoughts

Any mention or indication of self-harm or suicidal thoughts should never be ignored. Reach out for help immediately by contacting a mental health professional or a helpline.

Frequent Mood Swings

If you or someone you know experiences frequent and intense mood swings that last for extended periods, it could be an indication of bipolar disorder.

Substance Abuse

Individuals with bipolar disorder may turn to alcohol or drugs as a way to cope with their emotional turmoil. Substance abuse can exacerbate symptoms and complicate treatment.

Seeking Professional Assistance

If you suspect that you or a loved one may have bipolar disorder, seeking professional help is crucial for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan. Start by reaching out to a primary care physician, mental health counselor or psychiatrist. Treatment for bipolar disorder typically involves a combination of medication, therapy and lifestyle adjustments.

Bipolar disorder is a complex mental health condition that affects individuals and their loved ones. By understanding the common symptoms and recognizing the need for help, we can take proactive steps towards managing this condition effectively.

Remember, seeking professional assistance is not a sign of weakness, but a courageous step towards reclaiming control of your mental well-being and living a fulfilling life. With the right support and treatment, individuals with bipolar disorder can find stability and lead meaningful lives despite the challenges posed by this condition.

About Glen Oaks Hospital

Glen Oaks Hospital is a private mental health facility that specializes in treatment for adults and seniors. We provide comfortable care for those struggling with acute psychiatric issues, addiction to drugs or alcohol and co-occurring disorders (mental health issues with substance abuse).

Located in a relaxing and serene area of Greenville, Texas, we offer our patients a compassionate therapeutic environment. Some of our programs include inpatient, outpatient and specialty programming. We also offer additional programs that includes fitness classes and therapies to meet the physical and emotional needs of our patients.

To get a confidential, no-cost assessment call us at 903-454-6000.