Having Bipolar disorder does not mean that you are moody or you get easily offended. Sadly, that is what most people think and that is why the word ‘bipolar’ gets thrown around so often.
The real truth is: Bipolar Disorder is a complex mental health condition caused by imbalances in brain chemicals.
Bipolar leads to dynamic changes in energy, activity levels, and the ability to think clearly. It can affect individuals differently, and the severity and types of symptoms can vary from one person to another.
Manic and Depressive episodes
The disorder is characterized by two fluctuating extremes: Manic episodes and depressive episodes.
Manic episodes: This basically means an emotional high. Contrary to what most people think, manic episodes are NOT ‘happy’ moments. Manic episodes are in fact episodes of seemingly uncontrollable brain hyper activity. Symptoms include:
1. The person cant seem to relax
Excessive energy, restlessness and engaged in many activities all at once. They just cant seem to relax, They experience outbursts of excitements and productivity. Which are normally beyond what they would accomplish during that set period of time. This is because, they are (often unconsciously) looking for ways to burn off all that extra energy.
2. Fast speech, loud speech and talking too much
There are people who naturally talk much and talk fast. However, suddenly talking fast and loudly is a common symptom of the onset of a manic episode.
Note: Rapid speech is only considered a symptom if that is not how the person normally speaks.
3. Easily distracted
Difficulty in concentration on tasks they normally would do with ease. For example, reading books, watching movies, singing and even writing may be a daunting task to complete. Hyper activity makes it difficult to accomplish tasks that require time, precision and concentration.
Decreased need for sleep. Not feeling tired and not feeling sleepy even after normally strenuous activities is an indication of a manic episode. This is because, brain hyperactivity greatly reduces tiredness and need to sleep.
The person experiences more sexual energy than usual. They get easily sexually excited. Risky behavior and reckless decision making is very common during hypersexuality. This often leads to feelings of regret, shame and guilt.
6. Rapid thinking.
The person will complain that their thoughts are racing and difficult to control. Sometimes they cant trace their train of thoughts. Some of their thought deductions might not make sense to others. They experience flight of ideas and during this time they may get overwhelmed by new discoveries ideas too.
To mean, an exaggerated sense of self-importance. The person might overly praise their knowledge, power, identity and abilities. Often, at times, the person portrays sudden excessive religious dedication
In other words, this means dissociation from reality, losing contact with reality. The person might experience hallucinations: hearing and seeing things that aren’t real. The person might be delusional. This means strongly holding on to beliefs and ideas that don’t seem to make sense. Examples include: A strong conviction that someone is Strong conviction that they lack certain body organs. Etc.
Bipolar Disorder is a vast topic with a lot to learn. For that reason, In the next blog post on manic episodes, I’ll write about what triggers these manic episodes, how to control them and how to support someone who is going through them.
Depression and Anxiety are also other mental disorders I’ve written about. Click to gain more insight.
Meanwhile, If you notice that you or your loved one is experiencing some symptoms of manic episodes, you’re welcomed to Oasis Health Specialty Hospital for an in-depth consultation and more insight on Bipolar disorder. At the facility, there are different mental health specialists who would love to walk with you through your mental health journey.