Bipolar disorder was once known as manic depression. It’s caused by a chemical imbalance. It is roller coaster of highs and lows. The highs being mania and the lows being depression. Most people have experienced highs and lows in life, however someone with this mental illness usually have extreme highs and lows. Oftentimes, medication is needed.
While manic, these are some of the qualities a person displays:
- They have a lot of energy usually resulting in little to no sleep.
- They often have poor judgement. For example, they may spend money they don’t have.
- They think they can do just about everything (thoughts of grandeur, very high self-esteem) For example, they might think they are Jesus or can run for president.
- They talk a lot and rapidly. My mom calls this “verbally overproductive”
- They oftentimes become very religious. (They become obsessed in an unhealthy way.)
- Racing thoughts: This makes it very hard to concentrate or finish simple tasks.
- Easily get agitated or irritated
- They get involved in a lot of activities. This poses a problem later if they get depressed because they are unable to follow thru.
- They often binge eat, drink, or do drugs. (Many times people are not diagnosed because they self-medicate with drugs and/or alcohol.
- Hard to concentrate
- Uncontrollable crying
- Isolation is common
- Don’t enjoy things they used to enjoy
- Lack of energy
- Change in sleep (usually sleep more)
- Change in eating habits
- Loss of self-esteem
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Thoughts of suicide
- Hard to make decisions
- Sadness often not caused by anything in particular
It is a roller coaster where sometimes you are hopeful that you won’t have to go as high and as low. Some people with the right treatment, are able to accomplish that. However, even with the right treatment, others battle with the illness every day. They may be hospitalized due to severe mania or deep depression. Oftentimes, it is believed that point that the person is a threat to themselves or others.
In other cases, hospitalizations are not necessary, but friendships are lost, they lose their jobs, and even sometimes are shunned by their family. The upside is that often times, people with bipolar disorder can accomplish great things when they are able to channel their “mania” into the right things without going overboard.