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Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is typically a genetic ailment that involves mood swings that cycle through depression to elation. This transition can be either gradual or rapid and dramatic. There are four mood types: mania, hypomania, depression, and mixed episodes. The symptoms can vary quite dramatically depending on the person, and symptoms can be very similar to depression.

Substance abuse can complicate the diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder. In fact, some studies show that as many as 60% of people with bipolar also abuse drugs and alcohol. Typical signs of bipolar include:

Bipolar mania or hypo-mania symptoms:
  • Euphoria
  • Irritability
  • Increased energy and activity, need less sleep
  • Excessive talk and racing thoughts
  • High self-esteem
  • Impulsiveness
  • Reckless pursuit of gratification
Bipolar depression symptoms:
  • Depressed mood
  • Low self-esteem
  • Low energy and apathy, insomnia or oversleeping
  • Sadness, loneliness, helplessness, guilt
  • Slow speech, fatigue, and poor coordination
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Poor concentration
  • Lack of interest or pleasure in typical activities

If you have a family history of bipolar, it's important that you get sufficient sleep, eat healthy, and avoid drinking and drugs. If you are experiencing these symptoms, it's important that you get help right away from a psychiatrist or go to your primary care physician.