A person with bipolar disorder will experience extreme highs and lows in mood, from phases of overactive, excited behaviour “mania or manic episodes” to deep depressions. Between these extreme highs and lows there may also be stable periods of times. Some people may also hear or see things that those around them do not see or even have delusions.
Manic Episodes – During a manic episode some of the following symptoms may be experienced: excessively high feelings, restlessness, extreme irritability, fast speech, racing though processes, lack of concentration, surge in energy, reduced need to sleep, a sense of self importance, poor decision making, disproportionate and inappropriate spending, increased sexual drive, unsafe activities, misuse of drugs and/or alcohol and aggressive behaviour.
A person may not be aware of the changes in their behaviour and attitude during a manic episode. However, after the manic episode they may well be shaken at what they have done or how they have behaved. During the manic episode they may feel so high and full of energy that they take on responsibilities and obligations that they are unable to complete (taking on extra work), and once the episode is over they find it hard to cope with all the commitments they have taken on.
During a manic episode, they may not understand a family member or friends concerns as they feel that they are completely normal, however once the episode is over they may well understand the concerns.
Hypomania – There is also a milder form of mania called hypomania, this is less severe and lasts for shorter periods. Generally when this type of episode is occurring they may become very productive and see these experiences as constructive and valuable. However, treatment should be sought as hypomania can develop into the more serious mania which can be followed by an episode of depression.
Depressive Episodes – During a depressive episode a person may experience some of the following symptoms: Feelings of emotional emptiness, a sense of hopelessness, feelings of guilt, feelings of low self-esteem and worthlessness, chronic tiredness, difficulty in sleeping or sleeping too much, changes in appetite leading to weight loss or gain, loss of interest in daily life, lack of concentration, forgetfulness and suicidal feelings.
Depressive feelings can be tough to deal with and if the feelings are very low can cause thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
Types of bipolar disorder include:
Mania with psychotic symptoms – symptoms mentioned above under Manic Episodes. Sense of self-importance may develop into delusions. Suspicions turn into delusions and belief that others are out to get you.
Depression with psychotic symptoms – symptoms mentioned above under Depressive Episodes. Hearing and seeing things that others don’t see or hear (hallucinations) or beliefs that others don’t share (delusions). This can be upsetting, such as hearing voices that accuse a person that he or she is offensive and bad, or being convinced that a terrible tragedy is about to happen and they are accountable for it.
Bipolar I – Characterised by manic episodes (symptoms above) with some people suffering depressive periods as well.
Bipolar II – Characterised by severe depressive episodes (symptoms above) interchanging with episodes of hypomania (symptoms above)
Cyclothymic Disorder – Short phases of mild depression and short phases of hypomania.
Rapid Cycling – four or more episodes per year. These can be any of the above, manic, hypomanic, and depressive or mixed episodes.
Mixed States – periods of depression and euphoria at the same time.
Symptoms can be controlled by medication and almost everyone who has a bipolar disorder diagnosis will be offered medication to help manage the symptoms.
Cortijo Care are here to help.
Treatment at Cortijo Care is set up to help anyone who may be suffering from bipolar disorder and other mental health issues.
Our Rehabilitation programme treats the psychological issues surrounding the mental health problem, enabling clients to learn how to cope with life, learning how to handle emotions and anxieties in a safe place.
Please call us for a no obligation chat on (+34) 952 780 181 about how we can help you or your family member or friend, or complete the contact form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.