Tell if a Person Is Bipolar

Edited by Witz Taluban, Ermin, Eng, Lynn and 2 others

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You are probably wondering why someone you know often changes his or her mind as well as his or her attitude from time to time. The person you know changes his or her mood all the time, from being extremely happy and suddenly become lonely, depressed or unsettled. Why is that so? In this page, you will be able to know why this condition happens in someone you care about. In addition to that, you may be able to tell what he or she is suffering from, after reading the information below:

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What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental condition which specifically describes the mood swings of a person. Mood swings are normal in a person, but for people with bipolar disorder, their behaviors and emotions are intense, and sometimes they can't control it.

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When they are happy, they are extremely euphoric. And when they are sad, they will feel extreme depression. This may lead to suicidal thoughts. Mania episodes make them feel very elated and excited.

Common symptoms during this episode are uncontrolled shopping spree using credit cards, and sleeping for only two hours but still energetic. On the other hand, during the depressive episode, they may feel exhausted although they may have slept for 8 hours, and feel extreme guilt and hopeless due to circumstances caused by the disorder such as debt and being unemployed.

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The causes of bipolar disorder are unknown and not completely understood. This disorder can be inherited but it need not be inherited. Mania and depressive episodes can start in early adulthood or teenage years. The symptoms may seem normal at first, but gradually become worse if overlooked. Most bipolar people fail to notice these symptoms. That is why they are only diagnosed with it once they reach at the age of 20's or 30's.

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Four types of bipolar mood episodes

There are four types of mood episodes of bipolar disorder. Some bipolar people mostly feel more symptoms and signs of manic phase, while others may feel more symptoms and signs of depressive phase. Sometimes, they may experience conditions from both phases. Read the information below to learn more:

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  1. 1
    Mania phase.
    In this stage, they may feel euphoria and are creative. They can be very talkative and are hyperactive. These are good behaviors and symptoms found during mania episode. However, due to their heightened emotions, they may engage in inappropriate sexual acts, sleep only for short time, spend their savings using their credit cards, and make nonsensical business investments with other people. When they get irritated and angry, they may be extremely aggressive, such as picking fights with others and blaming someone without any reason at all. And at times, they may be delusional and hallucinating.
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  2. 2
    Hypomania phase.
    In this stage, the condition of a person is less severe, or it is what we call mild mania. He or she can easily get along with other people and control himself or herself. He or she may have the same signs and symptoms as a person in mania phase, but he or she can carry on and still keep in touch with reality. However, hypomania stage may gradually develop into full-blown mania as time goes by.
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  3. 3
    Depressive phase.
    In this stage, a person may feel extreme desperation or hopelessness, and worthlessness. At times, he or she may think about committing suicide. Furthermore, he or she sleeps longer than usual, gains weight, does not talk a lot, wants to be alone, is consistently restless, and has unpredictable mood swings. In this case, this person has to be cared for, because there is a possibility that he or she may commit suicide anytime. Antidepressants are useless during depressive phase. These medications can even make the condition worse.
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  4. 4
    Mixed bipolar phase.
    As the name implies, mixed bipolar phase combines other phases of bipolar disorder. In this stage, a bipolar person is at higher risk of committing suicide. The different facets of this type include:  
    1. Bipolar I disorder. A person who is diagnosed with bipolar I disorder can suffer the same signs and symptoms in mania or mixed phase. He or she can also suffer conditions in depressive episode, but not always.
    2. Bipolar II disorder. In this type of disorder, a person can feel a combination of signs and symptoms from both depressive and hypomania episodes. With this condition, he or she may experience severe depression, making him or her think about committing suicide.
    3. Cyclothymia. This disorder particularly involves mood swings. It combines hypomania and mild depression. In this psychiatric disorder, a person is not likely to commit suicide. The symptoms are not severe unlike in other episodes of bipolar disorder.
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5 Tips to help a person with bipolar disorder

If someone you know sometimes talks about suicide or feels extreme euphoria, then he or she may have bipolar disorder. Extreme happiness and depression are just two of the signs and symptoms of having bipolar disorder. Normal mild transient depression does not lead to suicidal thoughts, although not only people with bipolar disorder will think such thoughts. The person may still not know about his or her condition. You can talk over it with him or her, because if this mental disorder is not treated and diagnosed early, the signs and symptoms may become worse. You may want to follow the tips below:

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  1. 1
    See a professional psychiatrist.
    You may want to bring the person to a professional psychiatrist to have a mental health checkup. The psychiatrist will test and inquire the patient about his or her present condition. In this way, the psychiatrist will be able to know if he or she has mental disorder. The psychiatrist can also help him or her overcome unusual behaviors and habits.
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  2. 2
    Help him or her reduce stress.
    Stress makes the condition of a bipolar person become worse. You may want to help him or her cope with stressful life. Healthy lifestyle can be done to reduce the risk of experiencing unusual behaviors. A good sleeping pattern, eating healthy foods, and doing exercise are among the ways to help the person overcome bipolar disorder.
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  3. 3
    Avoid making situations that provoke him or her.
    People with bipolar disorder can easily get irritated and angry. If they are provoked, their feelings may be intense that they could unintentionally harm somebody. They may also feel extreme guilt after hurting the person. So, to avoid making the condition worse, do not provoke him or her or not let someone do such thing.
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  4. 4
    Advise him or her if he or she is not doing right.
    A bipolar person does not know what he or she is doing most of the time. For example, he or she might suddenly think of quitting his or her current job without any reason at all. You may want to encourage him or her not to quit, as he or she has a great and stable job with a lot of perks. This simple encouragement will help a bipolar person think right.
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  5. 5
    Support and encourage him or her always.
    Encouragement and support from you are needed for a bipolar person to recover. If he or she is your family member or spouse, you may want to support him or her financially, emotionally, and spiritually. Encourage him or her if he or she is suffering from symptoms of depressive episode or mixed episode.
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With the information above, you will be able to tell if someone you know is bipolar or not. If he or she is, then you may want to start helping him or her overcome signs and symptoms brought by different bipolar disorder phases.

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Categories : Mental Health

Recent edits by: Robbi, Lynn, Eng

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