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Devotions: Authentic Christian Recovery

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, also called as manic-depressive disorder, is a mental illness that is characterized by unusual mood swings from “lows” of depression to “highs” of mania. It causes extreme shifts in mood, energy levels, work performance, and the ability to execute daily activities.

Bipolar and sudden mood shifts

People with bipolar disorder may experience feelings of sadness, ineptness, or hopelessness when they undergo the period of depression. But when the mood shifts to mania, they may all of a sudden start feeling euphoric and full of energy.

However, both the manic and depressive episodes can occur either for a short duration, lasting only a few hours to a few days, or for an extended period, lasting up to several weeks or even months. In some cases, the symptoms of both depression and mania may be observed at the same time.

Restore relationships damaged by Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder can cause severe negative consequences in a sufferer’s life. It can lead the affected person to a damaged relationship or breakup with loved ones, poor school or job performance, and even suicidal tendencies. Bipolar disorder can’t be cured.

However, with the help of genuine Christian residential treatment centers it can be treated successfully over the long-term; individuals with this disorder can have full, productive lives.

Signs and Symptoms of Bipolar disorder

Symptoms of bipolar disorder are severe. They aren’t like the normal ups and downs that we sometimes go through. Symptoms vary from person to person, and they depend on which mood the affected individual is experiencing. While some people may experience very few symptoms of mood episodes, others may have many.

Common symptoms of manic episode include:

  • Euphoria
  • Excessively happy or outgoing mood
  • Extreme irritability
  • Increased energy and activity
  • Fast-talking
  • Racing thoughts
  • Inflated self-esteem
  • Overly restless
  • Poor judgment
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Easily irritated or agitated
  • Easily distracted
  • Delusional or irrational thinking
  • Increased physical activity
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Fast driving
  • Increased sex drive
  • Less need for sleep or not being tired
  • Making unrealistic financial choices
  • Neglecting responsibilities at work or school
  • Careless or risky use of addictive substances 

Common symptoms of depressive episode include:

  • Feeling sad, guilty, and hopeless
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling of emptiness or worthlessness
  • Decreased energy levels
  • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Lack of appetite
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Problems in making decisions
  • Restlessness or irritability
  • Insomnia or oversleeping
  • Obsessive thinking
  • Poor performance at work or school

Am I Bipolar: Self-assessment

Are you suffering from frequent mood swings? Do you think you may have a bipolar disorder? If you suspect that you may have it, ask yourself the following questions. If most of the answers are yes, consider seeking professional help and support.

  • Have you had depressive episodes for at least 2 weeks accompanied by one or more of the symptoms mentioned above?

If yes, proceed. 

  • Has there ever been an episode where you had an overly hyperactive mood, felt like you were not your usual self?

If yes, consider asking yourself the following questions regarding such ‘up’ times. 

  • Do you think you were talkative and spoke much faster than usual?
  • Did you feel more confident and capable than usual?
  • Do you think you were so irritable during the episode?
  • Did you feel so good or so outgoing that others thought you were not your normal self?
  • Do you believe you were highly active or did many things than usual?
  • Did you feel that your senses were heightened and your emotions were intensified?
  • Do you think spending money got you into trouble?
  • Did you have increased energy levels?
  • Do you think you had increased sex drive?

Please note that the above questions are for informational purposes only and are not intended to serve as a screening or assessment tool for bipolar disorders. Diagnosis of bipolar disorder requires a thorough screening and assessment by a qualified, trained professional, preferably a psychiatrist.

How to Help Someone with a Bipolar Disorder?

If your loved one is coping with bipolar disorder, don’t feel hopeless. Effective, comprehensive treatments are now available for people with bipolar disorder. Moreover, your help and support can make a big difference in his/her treatment and recovery.

You can help him/her by learning about the disorder, observing the symptoms, offering hope and inspiration, and being a trusted companion in treatment.

For more help and suggestions, call us today to talk with a Christian psychiatrist at Devotions Recovery Center.