21 Warning Signs Someone Is Bipolar
Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar Disorder, also known as manic depressive, is a disease of the brain that affects 5.5 million Americans. It causes unusual shifts in mood, sufferers can swing from incredible highs of manic energy to gut wrenching lows of depression.

It can also make every day life much more difficult, as it can trouble in work, relationships, and school. Left untreated it can even lead to suicide. Bipolar Disorder can be treated, but you need to know it's main characteristics to identify it.


Extended Periods of Energy
Extended Periods of Energy
There are two abnormal phases when one suffers from being bipolar, a manic phase and a depressive phase. In the manic phase, a feeling of heightened energy is common.

They'll seem hyperactive and sleep very much less than normal. These periods are often accompanied by euphoria and feelings of confidence and invincibility.


Depression
Depression
On the flip side of manic is the low period,depression. When someone is in a depressed state, you may notice the following signs. prolonged sadness, pessimism, loss of appetite, unexplained aches and pains, loss of energy, and feelings of guilt.

People with bipolar disorder usually experience the depression more often than the mania (the highs). It's usually during these stages that most people seek professional help.


Irritable
Irritable
Not everyone who is irritable is bipolar, but irritability is a common indicator when combined with other symptoms.

Everyone is irritable at some point but people with bipolar disorder it becomes so severe that it interferes with their relationships.


Difficulty at Work
Difficulty at Work
Working can be especially difficult with bipolar disorder. Both the manic and the depressive phases of bipolar disorder can and will make for difficulties at work.

People with bipolar disorder most often thrive in structured environments with regular schedules. Bipolar disorder sufferers should also learn coping techniques to help manage their different phases.


Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol Abuse
Bipolar disorder and alcoholism often go hand and hand. About half the people who suffer from bipolar disorder also struggle with alcoholism. There's also some research that indicates there is a genetic link between bipolar depression and a propensity for alcoholism.

Bipolar sufferers often drink to ease the symptoms especially when in a depressive phase. Drinking may seem to help, but in the long run it makes symptoms much worse. In a manic phase, the loss of inhibitions and feeling invincibility do not make a very good combination with alcohol.


Drug Abuse
Drug Abuse
Just as with alcohol, drug abuse and bipolar disorder are also linked as up to 60% of bipolar sufferers also abuse drugs.

Most drug abuse occurs when bipolar sufferers are attempting to self-medicate themselves to better manage their highs and lows.


Hallucinations
Hallucinations
Hallucinations, though rare, can occur, especially during a severe manic phase. And though rarer, hallucinations can also occur in a depressive state as well.

In either case, if hallucinations do start to occur, they need to be taken very seriously, as they reflect an extreme serious episode and likely indicates a need for hospitalization.


Unable to Finish Tasks
Unable to Finish Tasks
One of the hallmarks of bipolar disorder is a house full of half completed projects. Often times when a sufferer of bipolar disorder is in their manic phase, they'll start a flurry of new projects.

But they'll end up going from task to task planning grand unrealistic projects. But too often, they'll end up moving to something else before completing any one project. Even though a manic person has a lot of energy, they're often too easily distracted to finish anything.


Rapid Speech
Rapid Speech
Rapid or "pressured" speech is one of the most common symptoms of bipolar disorder. This occurs because the person isn't really in a two-way conversation.

The person will talk rapidly and if you try to talk to them, they will talk over you. They'll also just jump around to different topics.


Erratic Behavior
Erratic Behavior
Erratic Behavior for a bipolar depressive usually occurs during a manic phase. In the manic phase, bipolar sufferers often have feelings of invincibility and often make bad decisions.

Two of the most common behaviors are unusual sexual behavior and spending sprees.


Difficulty Sleeping
Difficulty Sleeping
Bipolar disorder may affect sleep in different ways. One may get insomnia during manic phases. While the opposite maybe true during the depressive stage as sufferers may sleep far too much.

Bipolar sufferers also often suffer from sleep apnea, irregular sleep schedules and when they do sleep, they find they are lacking in the deep sleep of REM and dreams.


Mind is Always Racing
Mind is Always Racing
Racing thoughts are a symptom of manic health. It's more than just thinking fast though. They are thoughts that just won't stop constantly either in the background and sometimes even taking over a person's consciousness.<<>People who suffer from a racing mind have problems with concentration and focus. They'll also have difficulty going to sleep. Other symptoms including a pounding heart or pulse and a drumming in the ears.


Unrealistic Beliefs in One's Abilities
Unrealistic Beliefs in One's Abilities
Self-confidence is usually a good thing. But, in a manic state it goes well beyond normal self-confidence. In a manic state, sufferers often feel they can accomplish anything and everything.

There's a downside to this feeling though. Often, this will lead to reckless behaviors and taking unnecessary risks. This can lead to spending sprees, drug abuse, ill-advised business decisions, or impulsive sexual indiscretions.


Feeling Hopeless And Sad
Feeling Hopeless And Sad
Depression can be much worse than just feeling mentally and physically sluggish. Extreme sadness and hopelessness can also be a symptom.

Feeling guilty, anxiety, indifference, disinterest, and indecisiveness are all symptoms of depression. This can all lead to suicidal thoughts. If you or someone else start having suicidal thoughts, see a doctor immediately.


Physical and Mental Sluggishness
Physical and Mental Sluggishness
As already mentioned, mental and physical sluggishness are a symptom of a depressive phase of bipolar disorder. When one is depressed everything takes much more effort. Even small tasks take extra effort.

If you feel depressed you should see a doctor to get treatment. Drugs such as lithium and other mood stabilizers can help manage attacks of depression.


Slow Speech
Slow Speech
The flip side of mania is a depressive phase. The depressive phase usually lasts much longer than manic and can be quite a bit more damaging.

In a depressed state the mind starts slowing down and feeling and the body becomes lethargic. Both of these will cause speech to slow down.


Unexplained Aches And Pains
Unexplained Aches And Pains
Some people in a depressive phase also experience unexplained aches and pains.

The most common complaints are headaches, back and shoulder pains, chest palpitations, and chest pains.


Change in Appetite
Change in Appetite
In a depressed state, a loss of appetite is very common. Food becomes tasteless and uninteresting.

Though in some cases the reverse is true, as some people turn to comfort eating to cope with their depression.