Bipolar disorder is also known as manic depressive illness and means that a patient can go from very high and upbeat moods to seriously down and depressed in a matter of minutes. It is a recurrent illness meaning that patients are likely to suffer it for the rest of their lives. Because of this treatment will need to be continued for long periods of time and a strong network of professionals, family members and friends is ideal to help the bipolar disorder sufferer. Spotting the symptoms of bipolar disorder can be difficult but it is fundamental; without noticing the symptoms you won't be able to get the help you need.
1- Manic episodes can be easy to spot and include an increase in energy and a euphoric mood. Obviously if a person has been depressed for any length of time and then suddenly shows these characteristics it is likely to be very evident and easily noticed. Other signs of mania can include an increased sex drive, a lack of concentration, spending sprees and many more.
2- Depression can be spotted quite easily too but can be overlooked as just being a down day. A sad or anxious mood that lasts for an extended period of time is the most obvious sign of depression and the first thing you should look for. Other signs include a loss of interest in things that would have previously caused excitement, including hobbies or sex.
3- Severe cases of either of the swings associated with bipolar disease can lead to symptoms of psychosis which can include hallucination and delusions. These should also be very easy to spot but it is unlikely that the sufferer themselves will do so.
4- A mixed bipolar state can sometimes occur that means the patient can suffer from both mania and depression simultaneously. Agitation, sleep deficiency, a change in appetite and other factors can indicate a mixed bipolar state. Patients with this type of bipolar disorder can be very depressed while still having high levels of energy.
5- morbid thoughts are the most worrying of symptoms and many people subconsciously ignore them in the hope they go away. However, if you suspect the patient is having morbid thoughts and contemplating suicide you should act immediately to prevent the worst from happening. If necessary call 911.