Bipolar disorder is a condition where the patient may go through certain periods of extreme happiness and joy which is known as mania. On the other hand, there may be other periods where the patient may be extremely sad and depressed and even suicidal.
In some individuals, these phases may last quite long whereas, in others, they may change very quickly. However, there are certain common symptoms displayed by patients with bipolar disorder. Let's look at a few of them.
- Feeling extremely happy, to the point of being careless - Certain patients, at the onset of bipolar disorder, will feel extremely happy and have their sense of judgment hampered. When patients feel very elated without proper context, or for very small reasons, it could be an indication that the person is experiencing mania.
- Feeling extremely depressed - Similarly, on the other end of the spectrum, if a person feels extremely depressed without an appropriate reason, it may be due to bipolar disorder. Also, the severity of depression and the length of time for which a person experiences it is also an indicator of the condition.
- Lack of interest in activities which formerly interested you - You may suddenly lose interest in an activity that genuinely interested you earlier. This may include your profession or hobbies.
- Loss of appetite during the depression phases - During the phases of depression or sadness, which may sometimes last for months, a person may rapidly lose weight due to lack of interest in food. Even for patients who have shorter cycles of changes lasting for only a few weeks, this will be noticeable.
- Extreme restlessness and lack of sleep during the manic phases - When the person enters a manic or happy cycle, it may trigger over enthusiasm, restlessness and lack of sleep. This, like the depression phase, will also vary from patient to patient and may continue for the entire duration of the phase. A jump from a depression cycle into this phase will be definitely noticed by others.
If a few of these symptoms are detected, then the patient should be taken to a mental health professional for appropriate treatment as soon as possible.