Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. There are many symptoms and signs of this disorder, those listed below are perhaps signs that can easily be recognised.
Inability to complete tasks
Having a house full of half-completed projects is a hallmark of bipolar disorder. People who can harness their energy when they are in a hypomanic phase can be really productive.
Those who can’t often go from task to task, planning grand, unrealistic projects that are never finished before moving on to something else.
Some people are naturally talkative; we all know a motormouth or Chatty Cathy. But “pressured speech” is one of the most common symptoms of bipolar disorder.
This kind of speech occurs when someone is really not in a two-way conversation, Dr. Bearden says. The person will talk rapidly and if you try to speak, they will likely just talk over you.
Trouble at work
People with this disorder often have difficulty in the workplace because so many of their symptoms can interfere with their ability to show up for work, do their job, and interact productively with others.
In addition to having problems completing tasks, they may have difficulty sleeping, irritability, and an inflated ego during a manic phase, and depression at other times, which causes excessive sleeping and additional mood problems.
People with this condition often have sleep problems. During a depression phase, they may sleep too much, and feel tired all the time.
During a manic phase, they may not sleep enough—but still never feel tired.
Even with just a few hours of sleep each night, they may feel great and have lots of energy.
Flight of ideas
This symptom may be something that is hard to recognize, but it occurs frequently when someone is in a manic phase. People feel like their mind is racing and that they can’t control or slow down their thoughts.
This flight of ideas sometimes occurs with pressured speech.
People with bipolar may not recognize or admit that their mind is racing out of control.
A person who is in a bipolar depressive state is going to look just like someone who has regular depression. They have the same problems with energy, appetite, sleep, and focus as others who have ‘plain old’ depression.
Unfortunately, typical antidepressants alone don’t work well in patients who are bipolar. They can even make people cycle more frequently, worsening their condition, or send someone into a break-with-reality episode.