Bipolar Disorder is a characterized by episodes of extremely elevated moods (mania) alternating with episodes of extremely depressed moods (depression). During manic episodes individuals may feel excessive energy, euphoria, and decreased need for sleep. When mild (hypomania), these symptoms may be seen as enjoyable and “fun”. However, as these symptoms worsen, they may progress to pressured and aggressive speech, grandiose thoughts, poor judgment due to impulsiveness, and in extreme cases even psychosis. These may interfere with daily life and can even contribute to criminal behavior. Without treatment, these symptoms may last for weeks and can ruin relationships, careers, and lives.
During periods of depression, individuals may feel loss of joy and happiness along with a sense of helplessness and hopelessness. In addition, people may have persistent feelings of anger, guilt, anxiety, and isolation. Sleep disturbances are also common.
A proper diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder is necessary to help identify these patterns of behavior to ensure proper treatment. Because there is the potential to flip back and forth between these two extremes, improper management of one may trigger the other. Psychiatric Associates of Pennsylvania can help stabilize your moods allowing you better control of your life.