By Heidi Blakeslee
Bipolar disorder is one of the easier mental disorders to diagnose. The important thing is to identify it before it rampages through your lifestyle and affects not only you, but the ones you love.
Is there a period of the year that affects you very negatively? The season does not have to be winter or fall. Many people find themselves depressed in the spring or summer. Oftentimes, this is worse because it is nice outside and the sufferer feels guilty because it is nice outside and they feel rotten. By isolation I mean that you refuse to take phone calls, barely email anyone, don’t write to anyone, and just generally cut off family and friends from your life. This cut off can be very abrupt or it can be sudden. Oftentimes, you will find yourself with a handful of trusting friends that cannot understand why you left, or why you call them out of the blue months later when you come out of your depression.
Many bipolar sufferers cite racing thoughts as a constant problem. Racing thoughts do not necessarily have to be thoughts that are moving fast. At night, they are often the thoughts that keep a bipolar person awake at night, night after night. The thoughts can consist of anything. They do not have to be worries or plans for the future. The point is that the bipolar often feels that they cannot turn their mind off and therefore cannot sleep. This is how sufferers stay up for days on end. Their bodies may be exhausted, but their minds will not shut off.
Large mood swings are a staple symptom of bipolar disorder. Mood swings appear differently in everyone with the disorder. Some people have months of wonderful feelings and then swing down to the blues for a few months and go back and forth. Some people suffer from more acute feelings and have many swings in a single day. Some people even fluctuate between feeling joyous to the point of tears, only to feel suicidal later in the same day. Mood swings are easily controllable with a mood stabilizing medication such as Depakote or lithium.
Bipolar disorder is a life-threatening condition. It is life-threatening because many sufferers will take their own life. People with bipolar disorder are unbalanced. Medication, meditation, and therapy can keep the mood swings and other symptoms at bay. If you recognize these symptoms in yourself do not be afraid. There are many ways to get help and stay healthy.