Bipolar disorder is a serious diagnosis that affects more than 10 million Americans. Unlike depression, bipolar disorder is equally common in men and women. The onset of the condition typically occurs in the early 20s, but (although rare) the first symptoms can appear in early childhood or late in life.
Although some people may have only one episode, bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition that usually involves recurrent episodes. It's usually marked by episodes of mania or hypomania (low-grade...
as much sleep as usual. (You may feel rested after 3 hours of sleep.)
more than usual.
Be more active than usual.
trouble concentrating because of having too many thoughts at the same time
Act impulsively or do reckless things, such as go on
shopping sprees, drive recklessly, or get into foolish business ventures. Or you may have
frequent, indiscriminate, or unsafe sex.
Depression may make you:
Feel sad or anxious for a significant period of
thoughts and speech because of low energy.
concentrating, remembering, and making decisions.
Have changes in
eating and sleeping habits. You may eat or sleep too much or too little.
Have less interest in your usual activities, including
Have suicidal thoughts.
Types of bipolar disorder
Bipolar I. This is the classic form of the illness. It causes episodes of mania
and depression that keep coming back. The depression may last for a short time or for months. You may
then go back to feeling normal for a time, or you may go right into a manic
Bipolar II. With this form, you will have depression just as in bipolar I. But the manic highs are less severe (hypomania). People with bipolar II have
more depressive lows than hypomanic highs.
Some people may have bipolar disorder with mixed
symptoms. Their highs and lows of mania and depression occur together. This makes the disorder challenging to treat and very frustrating for you and
for those around you. It can also lead to hospitalization if your daily
functioning becomes impaired.
If you have rapid-cycling
bipolar disorder, you may have at least four episodes of depression,
mania, or both within a 12-month period. You may go directly from a low to a high. Or you may have a short time lapse between
the two extreme moods.