Bipolar disorder is often difficult to diagnose. That is because some of the same symptoms that a mentally ill person is experiencing that are associated with bipolar disorder are also associated with several other mental illnesses. That is why it is important to make a checklist of each of the abnormal symptoms the person in question exhibits to determine if they meet enough of the criteria to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder over other possible conditions.
Another thing that you have to consider is that there are stages of mania for people with bipolar disorder and stages of depression. These stages are rarely the same for any two people, which makes it even more difficult to diagnose this disorder. Often times, a depression doesn't manifest itself for years and no one realizes that the person that they knew was simply going through a long stage of mania. This can lead to a misdiagnosis of clinical depression, personality disorder, and more.
Some of the tell-tale signs of bipolar disorder in a mania stage are:
- Feelings of invincibility
- Feelings of superiority
- A lot of energy on little sleep
- Unusual sleep patterns
- Fast talking
- Lack of focus on one subject or activity
Some of the tell-tale signs of bipolar disorder in a depressive stage are:
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Feeling sad for no reason
- Feeling anxious
- Feeling angry
- Energy loss
- Loss of appetite
- No energy, even when getting good sleep
- Memory loss
- Inability to connect with others
- Suicidal thoughts
There is also the chance that someone you love, or even yourself, are going through all of these symptoms at the same time. This is called a mixed episode. When this occurs, the chance that the person experiencing these symptoms will commit suicide increases exponentially, which is why it is important to seek treatment from a mental health expert immediately.
Overall, bipolar disorder is a condition that can be treated with therapy and medications. In some cases a person with bipolar disorder can lead a fairly normal life without medication depending on the severity of their condition. With that being said, it is important to always follow the advice of your doctor or your therapist to ensure that you are on the right path for a mentally healthy life.
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