The Early Symptoms and Signs Of Bipolar Disorder

Do you or someone you love suffer from extreme mood swings?

That could be a sign of bipolar disorder (formerly known as manic depression).

Symptoms and Signs of Bipolar Disorder

Symptoms of bipolar disorder typically will appear in the late teens or early 20s. It can be hard to diagnose, but common symptoms include:

For Mania and Hypomania:

  • Increased energy
  • Decreased need for sleep / difficulty sleeping
  • Talking very fast, often jumping from topic to topic
  • Being easily distracted
  • Being highly overconfident in abilities / increased feeling of self-importance
  • Engaging in risky behavior and/or poor decision making
  • Displaying anger/aggression toward others if challenged by others

For Depression:

  • Long periods of feeling sad or hopeless
  • Loss of interest in / enjoyment from almost all activities
  • Lack of energy or severe fatigue
  • Thoughts of suicide or death
  • Either having trouble sleeping or sleeping much more than normal
  • Big change in appetite
  • Problems with memory / forgetting things

Causes of Bipolar Disease

It’s still not known exactly what causes bipolar disorder.

However, there are three main things that appear to play a major role in it.

One is genetics. Those who have a first degree relative (ie. parent or sibling) with bipolar disorder are more likely to develop it.

The second is biological differences in the brain. Those with bipolar disorder seem to have physical changes that occur in their brain.

And the third is stress. A stressful event, such as the death of a loved one, can trigger the onset of bipolar disorder.

Bipolar Disease Treatments

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, it’s important to discuss treatment options with your physician.

Treatment options include:

  • Medications like mood stabilizers, antipsychotics or antidepressants
  • Counseling, behavioral therapy / psychotherapy
  • Electroconvulsive therapy