Bipolar Disorder: Signs & Symptoms

Bipolar Disorder can be a serious medical issue that sees the fluctuation of moods, energy and functionality. According to the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual 5 (DSM V), those that suffer from this disorder can be rated on a scale that moves from normal to severe mania or severe depression often referred to as bipolar I disorder; those with a more mild symptoms of mania are listed as bipolar II disorder.

The actual diagnosis process is much more in-depth and it is highly recommended you speak to a general practitioner or psychologist for a proper assessment. This article will list the signs and symptoms associated with the disorder to help you identify whether someone might need to seek professional assistance.

The following is in no way an extensive list however they are some of the more commonly experienced symptoms.

Symptoms of Mania:

– proactive, intrusive or aggressive behaviour

– extreme irritability

– racing thoughts and increased speech speed

– inability to concentrate

– feelings of paranoia

– increased energy and restlessness

– unrealistic belief in personal ability

Symptoms of Depression:

– feelings of guilt, being helpless or worthless

– sleeping too much or insomnia (with constant thought)

– slowed physical movement

– loss of enjoyment in things a person previously enjoyed

– lethargy and difficulty concentrating

– thoughts of death or suicide; taking action on said thoughts

Of course just having some of these feelings for a short duration of time does not mean you suffer from bipolar disorder. With the mania stage, it is generally if the feelings last for longer than a week and the depressive stage lasts for longer than a fortnight. If you happen to feel some of those symptoms for a limited duration – remember that is within the normal scope of emotions to feel both positive and negative and it only becomes troublesome if those emotions linger.

Within the Chinese Medicine frame work, bipolar disorder is known under the term Dian Kuang. This term is an umbrella one that covers a large range of psychoemotional disorders however the signs and symptoms listed are very similar to those found in the criteria for bipolar disorder. As this article is more about the signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder, we will not go into further detail regarding the pathogenesis at this point.

Many people who suffer from bipolar disorder live normal lives with proper treatment. As mentioned above, it is highly advisable to seek out the opinion of a general practitioner or psychologist if you believe you or a loved one is suffering from bipolar disorder. Chinese Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture may also assist you with getting the disorder under control so please contact us or seek out a registered practitioner.

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