Symptoms - Bipolar disorder feeling sad, hopeless, or irritable most of the time, lack of energy, difficulty concentrating and remembering things, loss of interest in daily activities, feeling empty or worthless, feelings of guilt and despair, feeling pessimistic about everything, self-doubt. Mania and hypomania are two different types of episodes, but they have the same symptoms. Mania is more severe than hypomania and causes more noticeable problems at work, school, and social activities, as well as difficulties in relationships. Mania can also trigger a break with reality (psychosis) and require hospitalization.
But Bipolar Disorder Can Be Deceptive. Symptoms May Defy Expected Manic-Depressive Sequence. Rare episodes of mild mania or hypomania may go unnoticed. Depression can overshadow other aspects of the disease.
Sometimes, symptoms of depression and mania can occur at the same time. And substance abuse, if present, can cloud the picture. People with cyclothymia have episodes of hypomania and depression. These episodes involve symptoms that are shorter and less severe than mania and depression caused by bipolar I or bipolar II disorder.
Most people with this condition alone don't experience mood symptoms for 1 to 2 months straight. Despite many similarities, certain symptoms are more common in bipolar depression than in regular depression. For example, bipolar depression is more likely to involve irritability, guilt, unpredictable mood swings, and feelings of restlessness. With bipolar depression, you may move and talk slowly, sleep a lot, and gain weight.
In addition, you are more likely to develop psychotic depression, a condition in which you lose touch with reality and experience significant problems with work and social functioning. A mixed episode of bipolar disorder has symptoms of mania or hypomania and depression. Common signs of a mixed episode include depression combined with agitation, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, distraction, and racing thoughts. This combination of high energy and low mood makes the risk of suicide particularly high.
A person with cyclothymic disorder will have had symptoms of hypomania and episodes of depression for at least 2 years, or 1 year for children and teens. Bipolar II disorder also involves high and low moods, but depressive symptoms are more likely to dominate and your manic symptoms are less severe. The defining sign of bipolar I disorder is a manic episode that lasts at least a week, while people with bipolar II disorder or cyclothymia experience hypomanic episodes. By knowing how to recognize the symptoms and triggers of these episodes, there is a greater chance of effective treatment and finding coping methods that can prevent prolonged periods of illness, prolonged hospital stays, and suicide.
Bipolar disorder is a complex disorder that is likely due to a combination of genetic and non-genetic factors. Substance abuse can make bipolar episodes (mania and depression) more frequent or severe, and medications used to treat bipolar disorder tend to be less effective when someone uses alcohol or illicit drugs. Rapid cycling can leave you feeling dangerously out of control and occurs more often if the symptoms of bipolar disorder aren't properly treated. Sometimes, antidepressants are given in combination with mood stabilizers to improve depressed mood, although antidepressants are often not as effective as some mood stabilizers or certain atypical antipsychotics in treating depression in bipolar disorder.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM) sets out the criteria for diagnosing bipolar disorder. However, ongoing and long-term treatment, such as medications and psychotherapy, can help control symptoms and allow you to lead a healthy and purposeful life. Although bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition, you can manage mood swings and other symptoms by following a treatment plan. Major depressive disorder, often referred to as unipolar depression, is different from bipolar II disorder, also called bipolar depression, in that unipolar depression has no hypomania intervals, while bipolar II disorder does have hypomania intervals.
The symptoms of bipolar disorder may be similar to those of depression, substance use disorder, ADHD, and other conditions. Cyclothymia (hypomania and mild depression): Cyclothymia is a milder form of bipolar disorder that consists of cyclical mood changes. Exercise has a beneficial impact on mood and can reduce the number of bipolar episodes you experience. And unlike common mood swings, bipolar disorder mood swings are so intense that they can interfere with your work or school performance, damage your relationships, and disrupt your ability to function in daily life.