Bipolar disorder (or manic depression) is comprised of two halves. Mania is the extreme high and depression is the extreme low. As stated these are extreme mood changes, not just the normal highs and lows everyone goes through from time to time. This article shall concentrate on the mania portion. Doctors also have a diagnosis of hypomania (bipolar 2) which is a mania to a lesser extent. While experiencing hypomania a person will feel in a very happy mood all the time. Many of us would like to feel happy.
Mania can be very extreme with its highs. A person suffering from this condition (he or she will not believe they are suffering though), can become volatile fast. The highs can spiral downward if they are provoked and angered in any way. Many arrests are made when people become angered and start screaming at each other. A manic person will accelerate this into a fight and if weapons are available it can mean disaster. Control is not a strong point of manic people. On a lighter note, mania can also bring out creativity in people. There are a number of great artists, musicians, and writers in history that were diagnosed manic depressive. Many swear that their most productive periods were during episodes. Those periods unfortunately do not last though.
A person who is bipolar or there loved ones should be aware of the warning signs that could trigger an episode of mania. Getting help early in the manic stage could help keep the worst symptoms from occurring. Psychotherapy and medication are known to help the bipolar patient tremendously.
What to look for:
Insomnia or not sleeping normally
Not feeling fatigued (despite no sleep)
Speaking more rapid that normal
Thoughts that race everywhere (rapid speech might show this)
Spending money with no regard to consequences (shopaholic)
Promiscuousness (sleeping around)
Feeling invincible (nothing can touch or stop them)
This list is by no means all inclusive. These are just guideline for which a person can follow. Your medical professional will have better information in relation to you. Everybody is an individual and will have his or her own warning signals. The afflicted and their loved ones should take notice of them and be aware of the signs. Some bipolar patients have recurring episodes throughout their lives. Medication does help to level the moods though so patients should stick with the regimen their doctor prescribes. Weight gain is listed as a side effect on many prescription medications for this illness which can scare people. Everyone is different regarding this and people should take heed. Diet and exercise goes a long way to make sure that this side effect does not take.