About Bipolar Disorder
You’ve likely heard someone called "moody" before. But when a person has bipolar disorder, it’s more than just common mood swings. Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a serious brain disorder that causes extreme shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.
These shifts cycle between being overly energetic (known as periods of "mania"), and feelings of sadness and hopelessness associated with depression. But, people with bipolar disorder often have normal moods in between. The cycle between mania and depression is different for each person—some people may experience mood shifts every few months, while others have them every few years.
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
Because mania/depression cycles vary from person to person, bipolar disorder can be difficult to diagnose. People can have it for years without knowing. Here are some mood and behavioral symptoms to look for.
Symptoms of Mania
- Long periods of feeling "high," overly happy, and outgoing
- Feeling extremely irritable or "jumpy"
- Talking very fast, moving from one idea to another
- Being easily distracted, restless
- Sleeping very little
- Increasing goal-focused activities, like new projects
- Behaving impulsively and taking part in pleasurable, high-risk behaviors
Symptoms of Depression
- Long periods of feeling worried or empty
- Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed, like sex
- Feeling tired or "slowed down"
- Having problems concentrating, remembering, and making decisions
- Restlessness and irritability
- Changes in eating, sleeping, or other habits
- Thoughts of death or suicide, or attempting suicide
Take back control of your mental health—and your life. Talk with your primary care doctor about a referral to a specialist. You can view a list of behavioral health specialists, before your appointment, and see which ThedaCare Physicians locations offer services in your area.