2. Symptoms of Bipolar I Disorder
Now that we’ve discussed what bipolar I disorder is, how do we recognize it? A manic episode is an “elevated mood [that] can manifest itself as either euphoria (feeling ‘high’) or as irritability,” writes WebMD. This euphoric mood is accompanied by behavioral signs like jumping from one idea to the next, increased energy, lack of sleep, rapid and loud speech, inflated self-image, reckless behavior like excessive spending, drinking, substance abuse, or even hyper-sexuality. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are depressive episodes that look very similar to clinical depression. This includes low energy and activity, sadness, feelings of guilt and worthlessness, and thoughts of suicide.
In both of these cases the symptoms can last for a few weeks or months. When a bipolar patient experiences a manic episode it might mean that a depressive episode will follow soon after, but there can be long periods between these episodes where the patient exhibits no symptoms at all.