Bipolar Disorder Signs, Symptoms & Treatment

What is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness within the brain. More than 5 million Americans have bipolar disorder. It consists of mood swings which involves major highs and major lows. There are two types of bipolar disorder. Type one is where the person experiences manic episodes, and type 2 is where the person experience hypomanic episodes and depression. Bipolar disorder is also called manic depressive disorder which was the old terminology which we are not using anymore.

What causes bipolar disorder?
The exact cause of bipolar disorder is unknown, but there are several factors which contribute. Some include genetic predisposition (it runs in families), abnormalities of the brain, a chemical imbalance in the brain, stress, abuse, psychological trauma – all these factors contribute to either causing or putting someone at risk of developing bipolar disorder.

What are the symptoms of bipolar disorder?
A person with bipolar disorder is going through a manic episode, they may show many symptoms such as:
their mood is either irritable, agitated, or they’re elated or euphoric.
They’re easily distractible
They don’t sleep but have a lot of energy
They are unable to focus
They may display grandiose and risky behavior
They feel like they’re on the top of the board
They may be involved in more compulsive behavior like using more drugs or alcohol

When a person with bipolar disorder is experiencing major lows, that may show itself as:
Their mood is either depressed or hopeless
They are unable to concentrate
Their energy level is down
They have increased guilt
They are unable to sleep or they may sleep an excessive amount
Their appetite may go down and they lose weight
Their appetite may increase and they gain a lot of weight
They can have suicidal thoughts

Are their complications of bipolar disorder if left untreated?
If a person with bipolar disorder doesn’t get treatment on time they are more likely to use alcohol and drugs, more likely to get into legal problems, have difficulty coping at work or losing their job, grades go down, have relationship problems, and other similar issues. If they continue to experience bipolar symptoms without treatment, they are at the highest risk of either hurting themselves or others.

Where can a person get help?
If you have bipolar disorder and are experiencing these symptoms, please call your primary care physician, counselor, therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist. If you have suicidal thoughts or are thinking of hurting others please call 911.

More CHI Health resources:
Reach out anytime for help by calling (402) 717-HOPE.
CHI Health behavioral care:
Dr. Qadri:

IE Brunson Precise
The Iceberg Effect Free Book