Sunday, March 6, 2011

So how do I know if have Bipolar Disorder?

It is a question I have been asked by many people along my journey. It's not that easy to answer as everyone might think. Everyone I have ever met with bipolar disorder show different signs and symptoms. There are the classic symptoms of course that I will list at the end but with my experience everyone has a different treatment plan and no one with bipolar disorder can be put in a box. I think that this is probably why it is so hard for people to get help and maybe get the proper diagnosis. As I have shared in my earlier blogs that I looked in a psychology book and after reading the classic signs, I knew then that I probably had this disorder. I ofcourse went to my doctor at the time with my concerns and was later properly diagnosed with it. For some people it is not that easy though and sometimes the disorder can even mask itself as just clinical depression because the mania has not shown up in the person at that time.

My best answer to this is that if you think you might be showing any of the signs whether it's mania or depression, then find a reliable doctor in your area and get checked. You might even want to go to your family doctor first to rule out any other disorder. Then your primary physician might be able to refer you to a Psychiatrist. The faster you seek treatment for yourself or others is key to living a stable life. Being diagnosed so early in my life was really a blessing. At the time it did not feel that way though because it felt like all my dreams went out the window. The fact is that it gave me better insight on changes I would need to make in my life so that I could live the most stable life. If you do have bipolar disorder and you have just found out then do not panic. Instead find out as much as you can about it and talk to others with it for some advice. The most important thing is that you need to be comfortable with your treatment team and plan.  If you trust your treament team you are more likely to stick to it.  I spent many years reading books and talking to others trying to find out all I could about it and if there was anything I could do to help keep myself stable.  I will share more of this later. For now I will leave the classic signs of bipolar disorder here for you to look over. If you are showing some of these symptoms then the next step is to seek medial help to verify if you have it.  Then find out what type of treatment plan you need to follow. Staying with your treatment plan is key to staying stable and surviving bipolar disorder.

This is what states as the classic symptoms of bipolar disorder.

What are the symptoms of mania? Mania is the word that describes the activated phase of bipolar disorder. The symptoms of mania may include:

either an elated, happy mood or an irritable, angry, unpleasant mood
increased physical and mental activity and energy
racing thoughts and flight of ideas
increased talking, more rapid speech than normal
ambitious, often grandiose plans
risk taking
impulsive activity such as spending sprees, sexual indiscretion, and alcohol abuse
decreased sleep without experiencing fatigue
What are the symptoms of depression? Depression is the other phase of bipolar disorder. The symptoms of depression may include:
loss of energy
prolonged sadness
decreased activity and energy
restlessness and irritability
inability to concentrate or make decisions
increased feelings of worry and anxiety
less interest or participation in, and less enjoyment of activities normally enjoyed
feelings of guilt and hopelessness
thoughts of suicide
change in appetite (either eating more or eating less)
change in sleep patterns (either sleeping more or sleeping less


  1. thus mood-switch happen more often within a day to those who have bipolar disorder? i'm confuse within my own self. i answer some self assest test to know if i'm bipolar. it shows that i am. and all of the symptoms are happening to me. but i'm still confuse.

  2. You could possibly have Bipolar Disorder Type 2 but I am not a Doctor and all I can tell you is my experiences. If you mood changes drastically in a day then it could be under rapid cycling. If you have taken online test and you feel that you even a have a slight chance of having Bipolar Disorder then I strongly suggest you make an appointment to see a Doctor ASAP. You might even want to start with a trusted Family Doctor and they might be able to refer you. I hope you find the answers you are looking for and please let me know how it goes.

  3. I think i have bipolar i'm not sure. But I do get angry out of nowhere. Then sometimes I just cry out of nowhere. I have thought that the world would be better without me. Then I think that's kind of suicidal and I just forget about it. My brother was recently diagnosed bipolar I. And I've read everything about it and it kind of sounds like I have bipolar as well. I'm too scared to tell my parents so what should I do now....????

  4. Bipolar disorder is very genectic. It does run in families so it is possible that you might have it. I really wished you could talk to your parents because you will need to go see a doctor. I do understand why your are scared though. Just remember that this is not your fault and it is something you are born with much like diabetes. Do you have a trusted family member other than your parents that might be able to help you? I am not sure how old you are but if you are under 18 is there a person at your school that you trust you can talk to. Have you spoken to your brother about your concerns? Maybe that is a good place to start. I wished I had better suggestions. If you are over 18 and have your own insurance it would be easier. Like I said I do not know but I will pray you can find a way to tell your parents. Do they have a negative attitude about it? I would at least tell them you feel like you need to talk to a doctor. Bipolar Disorder is not something you should ignore and the sooner you get treatment the better you will be. You might not even have it but you need to at least make sure. Wishing you the best in finding help.

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