Bipolar, or manic-depressive, disorder is a mental health condition that happens within a certain time period and is characterized by varying degrees of mania, which is a hyper state of mind, and depression. Most people do experience times of elevated moods as well as depressed moods; however, the patient will have extreme mood swings lasting anywhere from a few minutes to a few months. Many times sufferers have frequent thoughts of suicide.
This mental disease is always in a constant state of change where at one point of time the sufferer is appears to be highly focuses and has plenty of energy while at another point of time the same person seems tired, listless, and withdrawn.
Bipolar Disorder Symptoms
A person who has bipolar disorder will have times of highly agitated moods, which can further put them in a state of depression; however, the amount of time one spends in this mental state can vary to a wide degree. And when a patient is experiencing fluctuating moods, their functioning can either increase or decrease, depending upon the mood's severity. Also, their cognitive functions, energy and activity levels, and pattern of sleeps are negatively impacted.
Specific Depression Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
The depression symptoms of bipolar disorder include a wide array of emotions--anger, sadness, anxiety, guilt, isolation, hopelessness, escapism, no interest in previously enjoyed activities, apathy, excessive shyness, self-loathing, and irritability. A patient in a depression state might also experience appetite issues, sleep and concentration problems, suicidal thoughts and behaviors, and chronic pain. And when a patient is experiencing a depression stage, they may have guilty feelings so strong that make them think they are the main cause for terrible events happening in other people's lives although their feelings are completely unfounded.
Specific Manic Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
When bipolar patients are experiencing a manic phase, they tend to have a different set of symptoms than when they are in a depression phase. All of the following symptoms are contributed to unfounded reasons that cause high anxiety. Sometimes they become paranoid to a point where they believe an unknown entity is watching them in order to do them harm. In some cases, they believe their close friends and family members are involved in a conspiracy and are trying to hurt them or that they are abandoning them. Also, sufferers tend to have unique religious beliefs, believe they have special powers, or that they are on important, top secret missions during a manic phase. And even though the depression phase of bipolar disorder is debilitating, many times the manic phase is more noticeable to the people in the patient's life.
Bipolar Disorder Causes
There are quite a few theories concocted by experts to explain the causes and origins of bipolar disorder, but there is no one theory to explain this mental illness. However, most physicians believe that many factors compiled together can spark the onset of bipolar disorder. For instance, a commonly held theory is that the manic-depressive disorder runs in certain families even though researchers are still actively looking for the particular gene responsible for this mental disease.