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Signs and symptoms of bipolar
Bipolar disorder is defined by shifts in mood, energy and activity levels. The mood shifts from periods of over-excitement (manic episodes) to periods of extreme sadness and joylessness (depressive episodes). Bipolar disorder is also sometimes called manic depression. It is common to experience bipolar symptoms for the first time in adolescence and the risk of developing bipolar is higher if you have a close relative who has the disorder.
During a manic episode it is common to have an elevated mood, be overactive, have an extremely high confidence and need less sleep. When you are manic you usually lose your judgment, often leading to behavior that can create problems when it comes to relationships, work and finances.
When in a depressive episode everything can seem to be difficult and you can lose the joy of living. You may experience difficulty concentrating, have low self-esteem and often suffer from insomnia and a decreased or increased appetite.
Sometimes you can have manic and depressive symptoms simultaneously. Between the episodes of manic and depression a person with bipolar normally feels good and can live life as usual.
Bipolar is often subdivided into two sub-categories:
Bipolar disorder type 1
When affected by bipolar 1 you have an existing history of one or more manic, hypomanic (a less severe form of mania) or mixed episodes. You may also experience depressive episodes where you typically feel a significant degree of sadness and hopelessness and have problems functioning in your day-to-day life.
Bipolar disorder type 2
When suffering from bipolar type 2 you do not have the same extreme mood elevation as with bipolar type 1. Instead you experience a less intense "up" moods called hypomania, which is alternated with periods of severe depression.
The level of bipolar differs from person to person; some can live a normal life with the help of counseling while others do need medication to function. There is no treatment that will completely cure your bipolar but with cognitive behavioral therapy we can help you manage it so that you can live life as well as possible.
The test is not to be seen as a final diagnosis. If you are uncertain about your result, we suggest that you get professional help as soon as possible.
If you are feeling suicidal
If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in immediate crisis, please contact your national emergency number or go to Befrienders Worldwide that offers crisis resources worldwide.