Bipolar disorder (BD) is often recognized by intense mood swings of either mania or depression; approximately 5.7 million Americans experience BD each year. Although mania and depression can be a part of BD, the disorder is much more complex than that, and can involve a variety of other symptoms that may not easily be recognized. If symptoms of the disorder go missed, treatment may not be sought – which can cause further distress in a person’s life. BD can affect nearly every aspect of daily living, including work, school, family, and social functions. By noticing some subtle signs of BD, you or a loved one can get diagnosed early, making symptoms much more manageable. See if you can recognize the following signs:
- Rapid Speech – with BD, a person may speak very quickly and may be difficult to interrupt; MD Glenn Hirsch from the Child Study Center at NYU Langone told Bustle, “Individuals with this symptom often report that they are bombarded with multiple thoughts and that they jump rapidly from one topic to another.” This could be a sign that you have BD, especially in addition to other symptoms.
- Decreased Need for Sleep – for individuals with BD, the need for sleep may decrease at times, especially if they are experiencing a manic phase. This is due to the increased energy they have along with feelings of invincibility, power, and euphoria.
- Random Moments of Irritability – since BD is a disorder of emotion regulation, moments of irritability may arise and often serve as a shift in mood, and most closely aligns with mania.
- Inability to Focus – many people with BD have difficulty focusing on one task, often due to their fluctuating moods. This can affect work performance, as a person may have difficulty completing projects.
- Impulsivity – spending too much money, shoplifting, substance abuse, sexual promiscuity and more are all behavioral examples of impulsiveness that may occur in someone with BD. If you have a strong urge for risk-taking, you may have BD.
Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, contact us today at 888-958-7511 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.