10 Signs of Bipolar Disorder

Wondering whether or not you have bipolar? Questioning your symptoms? Confused about how to distinguish one mood episode from the next? Wonder no more! Here are 10 definitive signs—plus their associated moods.

By Julie A. Fast

While reading each sign of bipolar, ask yourself, “Is this depression, euphoric mania, or dysphoric (mixed) mania?”

1. Sporadic Sleep Schedules

Noticeable changes in sleep when compared to normal sleep patterns.

2. Increased Irritation

An increase in irritation around children, around pets, and in public. The person who normally glides through life without making negative comments will suddenly turn into a negative, complaining, nasty, meanie! (Associated with agitated depression and dysphoric [mixed] mania.

3. Unpredictable Passions

An increase in goal-driven activities that are acted on immediately, then stopped when the energy runs out. (Associated with mania, with an emphasis on euphoric mania.)

4. Sudden Disinterest

A lack of interest in what a person normally finds very interesting, such as working on a car with regularity and then suddenly not even opening the toolbox. (Associated with depression.)

5. Fluctuating Mood. A noticeable change in mood that is in direct contrast to another mood, such as being the life of the party one day and crying in the car and feeling upset to go in the next time, as you don’t have the energy to be up and around other people. (Associated with euphoric mania and then depression. It is rapid cycling if it happens more than a few times in a year. Ultra-rapid cycling happens when the mood shifts monthly or weekly.) Read more >>

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