WHAT IS BIPOLAR DISORDER?

Impacts: 2.6% of adults (51% are untreated annually), 11.2% of adolescents.

This is an emotional rollercoaster associated with bipolar disorder may range from overly high (mania) to overly low (depression). Between the polar emotions of this serious medical condition, there might be bouts of balanced moods. These highs and lows are called “episodes” and can fluctuate at different rates. The first manic episode may be triggered by stress or trauma, but sometimes there is no clear reason why the bipolar disorder is present.

Symptoms and Warning Signs of Mania (Highs):

  • Feeling extremely irritable or euphoric
  • Acting overly joyful or silly
  • Having a short fuse or temper
  • Expressing extreme agitation
  • Thinking or talking rapidly
  • Sleeping very few hours without the side effect of fatigue
  • Having sexual thoughts, discussions, and behaviors more than usual
  • Exhibiting unpredictable behavior and impaired judgment
  • Engaging in risky or thrill-seeking behavior, or over-involvement in activities
  • Hallucinating or having delusions, which can result from severe episodes of mania.

Symptoms and Warning Signs of Depression (Lows):

  • Feeling extremely sad or hopeless
  • Being in an irritable mood • Having no desire for once-enjoyable activities
  • Sleeping too much or having trouble sleeping
  • Showing changes in appetite or weight
  • Having little or no energy or moving slowly
  • Having problems concentrating
  • Feeling aches and pains for no reason.
  • Finding minor decisions overwhelming
  • Obsessing over feelings of loss, personal failure, guilt, or helplessness
  • Having recurrent thoughts or talk of death or suicide. (Note: Any thoughts or talk of suicide must be taken seriously).

“Some of the most comforting words in the universe are ‘me too.’ That moment when you find out that your struggle is also someone else’s struggle, that you’re not alone, and that others have been down the same road.” – Unknown

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