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15 Warning Signs You Or Someone You Love Is Bipolar
2. Intense Mood Swings
This is a mixed symptom that leaves many dealing with the bipolar individual feeling confused. The bipolar individual can go from a highly positive, high energy mood to a negative, depressed, or angry outlook in a matter of minutes. They can also go the other way — changing from a depressed state of mind to a very positive outlook at a moment’s notice.
3. Erratic Behavior
During the manic or ‘up’ phase, those with bipolar disorder can display an inflated sense of self-esteem. They feel important, special, and don’t appear to understand consequences. If it sounds good to them, they feel like they can do it, and they generally do. Typical behaviors are spending sprees, wild sexual behavior, taking ‘vacations,’ or leaving town with someone they just met without notifying anyone or taking any clothes or money with them.
4. High Energy Combined With Low Mood
Sometimes, the mania a person is feeling crashes into their depression, confusing both mind and body with mixed signals. This means that a bipolar person can feel depressed but still have racing, uncontrolled thoughts, feelings of anxiety, an inability to sleep, an inability to focus, and feelings of restlessness. This is one of the most dangerous times for those with bipolar disorder, as they have energy and feel the need to ‘do something,’ but they are also intensely depressed. This can lead to suicidal thoughts. If you find yourself feeling this way or notice a loved one talking about suicide, please call 911 immediately for help.
5. Alcohol And/or Drug Abuse
An estimated 50 percent of those diagnosed with bipolar disorder have a problem with either drugs or alcohol, and sometimes both. Many people will drink excessively during the manic phase in an attempt to calm themselves, while others drink to improve their mood when they are depressed. The same is true of drugs abuse — it is an attempt to control their wild mood swings.
6. Easily Irritated
Those with bipolar disorder can have intense highs, but they are also easily irritated and irritable. They often find that, even during their manic phase, the smallest things cause them to overact. Those who are bipolar feel impatient with everyone and everything, which usually results in angry outbursts over trivial matters.
7. Easily Distracted
During the manic phase, there is often a type of hyperactive attention span that shifts frequently. Those who are bipolar tend to be unable to focus on anything for more than a few minutes and are easily distracted by the smallest things, such as a noise or even a bright light.
During their manic phase, bipolar people can become completely delusional about their abilities. They might believe that they can paint as well as Picasso, sing like Frank Sinatra, or dance like Fred Astaire. Other delusions might be that they can fly a plane, drive a car (even if they have never done so before), and operate machinery they have never seen before, or forgive sins. These delusional feelings of over-confidence fall completely flat once their depressive mode kicks in.
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