Millions of Americans suffer from bipolar disorder. Untold numbers around the world also have this potentially devastating mental illness.
What does bipolar disorder look like?
For most, bipolar disorder is a rollercoaster of emotional and even physical extremes. Sufferers experience depressive ep, where they feel down: and usually physically and emotionally exhausted.
It can feel like nothing you do is worthwhile during episodes of depression. These are regularly followed by periods of mania, or elevated mood. These mood swings make treatment difficult.
More Bipolar Disorder Symptoms
You might experience racing thoughts, unnaturally high energy levels and a mood so optimistic and positive that it causes you to make reckless relationship or purchasing decisions. Whether depressed or in mania, the common theme is that very little of your life is enjoyed between these two extremes.
In times of depression, as a person living with manic depression you may find it difficult to motivate yourself. You might feel like there is nothing you would rather do than lay in bed.
When you feel like this you can’t simply snap out of it, because it is difficult to make decisions that involve being active because while depressed motivation to be active is difficult to come by. Depression is often confused with sadness, and while depression can include this, they are not synonymous. Depression describes a set of specific physical effects while sadness can be used to describe a more refined aspect of human emotion that can have many different sorts of physical reactions.
On the other side of the coin that is bipolar disorder, there is mania. When you feel manic, in many ways it is the opposite of depression because when depressed you have trouble finding value in your actions and consequentially have trouble getting yourself to do things, while when manic you will feel like there is value in doing everything.
Many people find themselves overwhelmed and that there is so much to do that you can’t even decide where to start or you’ll do anything when given the opportunity on sheer impulse often leading to inappropriate behavior. When experiencing mania many people find special value in mundane things and appreciate special connections between events which can be linked to the boosts in creativity many people feel.
While the severe highs and lows of the bipolar condition can make things difficult it can be made manageable by making appropriate adjustments to your lifestyle that can even out your mood to something more livable or this can be also achieved through therapy and medication. In any case understanding what characterizes your condition is the first step to understanding what you must do to live with it. While every person will be different, cases of bipolar disorder follow similar patterns. As you understand these patterns you can learn that you can take action and there is hope.