Discussing signs of bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder, previously known as manic-depression, is a chronic mood disorder in which the patient displays intense emotional states. While it's normal for people to have shifts in mood, someone with bipolar disorder experiences extreme emotions that can last for prolonged periods of time. Symptoms of bipolar disorder may cause disruptions in everyday life, making it difficult to maintain relationships or steady employment. However, this condition is also very treatable with the right bipolar disorder treatment plan.

San Antonio Recovery Center, or SARC, offers bipolar disorder treatment programs that provide patients with the proper coping skills and medical support so that they can live full, productive lives. If you or a loved one is struggling with bipolar disorder, please call us at 866.957.7885 to learn how we can help.

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental health disorder that is typically associated with extreme highs, or mania, and extreme lows, or depression. There are, however, various kinds of bipolar disorder, some of which are not typified by the extreme mood swings that we have come to expect. The four types of bipolar disorder are:

Bipolar I

A patient with bipolar I experiences periods of abnormally elevated or irritable mood that last for at least one week. Though most patients also experience depressive episodes, it isn't necessary for a bipolar I diagnosis.

Bipolar II

This differs from bipolar I in that patients with bipolar II don't experience manic episodes. Instead, they usually experience less severe manic symptoms for a shorter amount of time, called hypomanic episodes. They also experience depressive periods that last at least two weeks.

Cyclothymic Disorder

Patients with cyclothymic disorder display the symptoms of mania and depression,  but not as severely as in types I and II. However, the cycle of mania and depression has been persistent for at least two years.

Other Specified or Unspecified Bipolar

When patients don't meet the criteria for bipolar I, II, or cyclothymia, but have experienced periods of abnormally elevated mood, they are diagnosed with unspecified bipolar.

What Are The Signs of Bipolar Disorder?

While symptoms of bipolar disorder will vary in intensity from person to person, there are a few common signs to watch out for. These symptoms are specific to which phase the patient is currently experiencing, either mania or depression. The signs of mania are:

  • Elation, excessive happiness, hopefulness, excitement, and a heightened sense of well-being
  • Abrupt changes in mood from being extremely happy to being irritable, angry, and hostile
  • Feelings of increased importance, an inflated sense of self-confidence, making grand or unrealistic plans
  • Engaging in risky or destructive behavior (this may include quitting their job, gambling with their life savings, going on big spending sprees that they can’t afford, or having impulsive sex)
  • Feeling restless, jumpy, or “amped up”
  • Racing thoughts, talking rapidly and being easily distracted
  • Increased energy combined with a decreased need to eat or sleep

Periods of mania, or its less severe counterpart, hypomania, are usually followed by depressive episodes. The symptoms of depression are:

  • Feeling sad, empty, hopeless, or worthless, feelings of excessive or inappropriate guilt, uncontrollable crying, feeling irritable
  • Loss of interest or loss of pleasure in previously enjoyable activities
  • Problems concentrating or making decisions, forgetfulness
  • Changes in appetite and weight
  • Insomnia or excessive sleeping
  • Feeling fatigued or low energy, restlessness
  • Suicidal ideation

Due to the symptoms of bipolar disorder, patients with this condition are highly susceptible to substance use disorder or alcoholism. The immediate euphoria and the sedative effects of substances and alcohol may help them feel like their symptoms are more bearable. However, it only complicates their condition. In cases such as these, treating both the addiction and the underlying bipolar disorder through a dual diagnosis treatment has the best chance of success.

Get Bipolar Disorder Treatment at San Antonio Recovery Center

Having bipolar disorder may seem daunting, especially when it's aggravated by drug or alcohol abuse. However, living a healthy, productive life is possible with the proper support and medical interventions. At SARC, our bipolar disorder treatment and dual diagnosis treatment programs are individualized to give each patient the best chance at a successful recovery. Contact us at 866.957.7885 today to take the first step toward a healthier lifestyle.

Now is the time to focus on your recovery.


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