- Do you go through intense moods?
- What is bipolar disorder?
- Who develops bipolar disorder?
- What causes bipolar disorder?
- What are the symptoms of bipolar disorder?
- Can bipolar disorder coexist with other problems?
- Is bipolar disorder easy to diagnose?
- How is bipolar disorder treated?
- Personal Story
- How can I help someone I know with bipolar disorder?
- How can I help myself if I have bipolar disorder?
- How does bipolar disorder affect friends and family?
- Where do I go for help?
- I know someone who is in crisis. What do I do?
- Contact us to find out more about bipolar disorder.
What are the symptoms of bipolar disorder?
Bipolar mood changes are called "mood episodes." People may have manic episodes, depressive episodes, or "mixed" episodes. A mixed episode has both manic and depressive symptoms. These mood episodes cause symptoms that last a week or two-sometimes longer. During an episode, the symptoms last every day for most of the day.
Mood episodes are intense. The feelings are strong and happen along with extreme changes in behavior and energy levels.
People having a manic episode may:
- Feel very "up" or "high"
- Feel "jumpy" or "wired"
- Talk really fast about a lot of different things
- Be agitated, irritable, or "touchy"
- Have trouble relaxing or sleeping
- Think they can do a lot of things at once and are more active than usual
- Do risky things, like spend a lot of money or have reckless sex.
People having a depressive episode may:
- Feel very "down" or sad
- Feel worried and empty
- Have trouble concentrating
- Forget things a lot
- Lose interest in fun activities and become less active
- Feel tired or "slowed down"
- Have trouble sleeping
- Think about death or suicide.