Bipolar disorder is characterized by periods of intense depression or mania. Symptoms of bipolar disorder are not always so obvious, which can allow the disorder to go undiagnosed and untreated for years.
Mood Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder During Manic Episodes
During a manic episode, someone with bipolar disorder will often feel extremely energetic. This often leads to an extremely outgoing or extroverted mood. Mania, however, does not always result in positive feelings for patients. They can also feel agitated, irritable and paranoid during manic episodes.
Behavioral Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder During Manic Episodes
Behavioral symptoms of bipolar disorder during manic episodes are often easier to spot than internal mood symptoms. While people in manic states often feel extremely positive many behavioral symptoms of the disorder can lead to long-term physical, mental and personal problems.
Some common behaviors include:
- Compulsive shopping,
- Speaking quickly while often sounding nonsensical
- Making risky decisions
- Overestimating one’s abilities to complete tasks or projects
Mood Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder During Depressive Episode
Depressive episodes are marked by lethargy and a feeling of emptiness. Many people experiencing depressive episodes cannot enjoy activities that once gave them great joy or brought meaning to their lives. They may not have a sense of accomplishment or the ability to feel a connection to other people. These periods can last anywhere from a few hours to several years.
Behavioral Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder During Depressive Episodes
The behavioral symptoms of bipolar disorder during depressive episodes are often just as dangerous, if not more so than those exhibited during manic episodes.
Some of the more severe behavioral symptoms include:
- Suicidal ideation or attempts at suicide
- Irritability that makes it difficult to connect with other people
- Long periods of a low mood that makes it difficult to work or even participate in daily activities
- Changes in eating and sleeping habits
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory loss
Some people with bipolar disorder experience a mixed state or rapid cycling that can cause manic and depressive symptoms to occur simultaneously or within very short time periods.