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Bipolar Disorder

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What Are the Depression Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder?

The clinical depression symptoms seen with bipolar disorder include:

  • Decreased appetite and/or weight loss, or overeating and weight gain
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, and making decisions
  • Fatigue, decreased energy, being "slowed down"
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
  • Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
  • Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
  • Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain
  • Persistently sad, anxious, or "empty" moods
  • Restlessness, irritability
  • Thoughts of death or suicide, suicide attempts

What Are the Signs of Mania With Bipolar Disorder?

The signs of mania with bipolar disorder include:

  • Disconnected and very fast (racing) thoughts
  • Grandiose beliefs
  • Inappropriate elation or euphoria
  • Inappropriate irritability
  • Inappropriate social behavior
  • Increased sexual desire
  • Increased talking speed or volume
  • Markedly increased energy
  • Poor judgment
  • A decreased need for sleep due to high energy

What Is Bipolar II Disorder?

While mania is the main characteristic of bipolar I disorder, bipolar II has milder periods of elation known as hypomania. It also has episodes of mild or major depression. According to the DSM-5, the diagnostic manual published by the American Psychiatric Association, the difference between mania and hypomania is "the degree of severity" as well as an absence of psychosis (delusions or hallucinations) in hypomania and no negative impact from "high" symptoms in work and social functioning,

What Are Signs of Hypomania With Bipolar II Disorder?

Signs of hypomania with bipolar II disorder include:

  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Extreme focus on projects at work or at home
  • Exuberant and elated mood
  • Increased confidence
  • Increased creativity and productivity
  • Increased energy and libido
  • Reckless behaviors
  • Risky pleasure-seeking behaviors

How Is Bipolar Disorder Diagnosed?

As with most mood disorders, there is no laboratory test or X-ray to diagnose bipolar disorder. After performing a physical exam, your doctor will evaluate your signs and symptoms. Your doctor will also ask you about your personal medical history and family history. Lab tests may be done to rule out other serious illnesses that can affect mood.

In addition, your doctor may want to talk with family members to see if they can identify times when you were elated. Because elation may feel good or even normal when compared to depression, it's often hard for a person with bipolar disorder to know if the mood was too high. Mania often affects thinking, judgment, and social behavior in ways that cause serious problems and embarrassment. For example, unwise business or financial decisions may be made when an individual is in a manic phase. So early diagnosis and effective treatment is very important with bipolar disorder.

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