Symptoms of Depression:
feeling sad, hopeless, or irritable most of the time.
lack of energy or motivation
difficulty concentrating or remembering things
loss of interest in activities of daily living
feelings of emptiness or worthlessness
feelings of guilt or despair
feeling pessimistic about everything
lack of appetite
too much sleep
Symptoms of Mania:
feeling very happy, elated or overjoyed consistently
talking, texting very quickly
feeling full of energy
feeling full of great ideas and having important plans
being easily distracted
being easily agitated or irritated
being delusional, having hallucinations and disturbed or illogical thinking
lack of sleep
doing things that often have disastrous consequences such as spending large sums of money or expensive and unaffordable items
making decisions or saying things that are out of character and that others see as being risky or harmful
There are some factors that may increase the risk of developing bipolar disorder. Some things that may act as a trigger for the first episode.
Having a parent or sibling with bipolar disorder.
Times of high stress including traumatic events or the death of a loved one.
Drug or alcohol abuse.
Every area of your life can be affected by bipolar disorder if left untreated.
Problems related to drug or alcohol abuse.
Suicide or suicide attempts.
Financial or legal problems.
Undesirable work or school performance.
There is no known way to prevent bipolar disorder. Getting treatment at the earliest signs of a mental health disorder can prevent them from getting worse.
If you've been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, you may be able to prevent minor symptoms from becoming full-blown episodes of mania or depression:
Pay attention to warning signs.
You may be able to stop episodes from getting worse if you address symptoms early. Try to identify a pattern to your episodes and what triggers them. When you think you are falling into an episode of mania or depression, call your doctor. Ask your friends and family to help watch for symptoms.
Avoid drugs and alcohol.
If you use drugs or alcohol your symptoms may worsen and make them likely to come back.
Take your medication exactly as directed.
When you are feeling better you may be tempted to stop taking your meds. Don't! Your symptoms may worsen or return or cause withdrawal symptoms if you stop or reduce your medication without the supervision of a doctor.
You may have another health condition that needs to be treated alongside bipolar disorder.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. (ADHD)
Alcohol or drug problems.
Physical health conditions, such as heart disease, thyroid problems, headaches or obesity.
When to see a doctor:
Despite the mood extremes, many people with bipolar may not recognize how much their emotional instability disrupts their lives and those close to them if they don't get the treatment that is needed. You actually may enjoy the feelings of upbeat or euphoric mood and ability to be more productive - mania. This is always preceded by a crash into depression and feeling worn out. It may result in hardships such as financial problems, legal issues or trouble in your relationships.
If you have any symptoms of mania or depression, see a doctor or therapist. Bipolar disorder does not get better on it's own. Getting help from a mental health professional with experience with bipolar disorder can help you get your symptoms under control.
Take good care,
"Healing starts when I stop asking, Why me? -- Hope For Today, p.11