Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder that is also known as manic-depressive disorder. This illness is a mood disorder which carries a psychiatric diagnosis. A person who is bipolar may experience deep depression with episodes of mania as a complete mood shift.
There are considered to be three classifications of bipolar disorder. Bipolar I disorder is when a person experiences defined manic episodes. Bipolar II disorder is when a lesser mania, called hypomania, is paired with depressed episodes.
Cyclothymia is when a person does not experience severe depressed or manic episodes but still cycles through hypomanic and depressed moods. Bipolar disorder can also be rapid cycling, which is when a bipolar individual experiences at least four episodes through a year. This may be through a day to day difference with ultra-ultra rapid cycling. Normally, bipolar individuals may only shift from depressed to manic once a year.
Lastly, bipolar “Other Specified” or “Unspecified” are when a person does not fit in any specific category but still experience impairment from their bipolar symptoms.
The symptoms for bipolar disorder can vary widely from person to person. It is important to understand that this disorder is marked by both depression and mania- without both of these conditions, the diagnosis may be for a different mood disorder.
Here are 15 common symptoms for bipolar disorder, categorized by their depressed or manic instances.
Depression: Suicidal Thoughts
Bipolar disorder is often mistaken and misdiagnosed as depression, says WebMD. One of the most serious symptoms of bipolar disorder is the possibility for suicidal thoughts. In the depression phase, the sufferer may feel so down on themselves that they contemplate suicide.
Even when diagnosed and placed on medication, suicidal thoughts may continue. They can be an unfortunate side effect of the medication. If you are feeling suicidal or you are worrying about a person you know who may be suicidal, contact your local mental health hotline and seek treatment.