Bipolar disorder, sometimes referred to as bipolar disease or manic depression, is a mood disorder that affects millions of people from all walks of life. According to medical professionals, people who suffer from this condition experience distinct episodes of mania (an extremely elevated mood), which are typically followed by episodes of depression and vice versa.
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The most common symptom associated with bipolar disorder is distinct periods of elevated and depressed moods. Individuals who are bipolar will experience heightened euphoria and happiness followed by drastic depression and guilt. While swings between manic and depressive episodes are the most common symptom, they are not the only symptom. There are several other hallmarks of this condition, and many of them contradict each other. Essentially, there are two types of symptoms: manic symptoms and depressive symptoms. Each set of symptoms produce very different types of behavior and are often experienced back-to-back in a short period of time.
A list of bipolar symptoms from various medical sources as well as the type (manic or depressive or both) associated with each are…
Distinct Periods of Elevated and Depressed Moods
Type: Manic and Depressive
Distinct periods of elevated and depressed moods are the most common symptom of bipolar disorder and involve both manic and depressive symptoms. This is characterized by a period of elevated, expansive or irritable mood and increased energy, followed by a depressed mood or loss of interest and pleasure in all or almost all activities, or vice versa. Manic periods can last anywhere from a few days to a few months, as can their depressive counterparts.
Many people with bipolar disorder also experience a buffer phase known as “hypomania.” These are like mild manic episodes, which do not significantly interfere with the patient’s everyday responsibilities and behavior. It is also common for people to experience mood instabilities in the days leading up to the full onset of a manic or depressive episode.