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Signs You Might Have Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, sometimes called manic depression, is a mental health condition that’s characterized by extreme swings in your moods, which make you feel euphoric and manic one minute and then down and depressed the next. Sometimes, you feel both at the same time, impairing your decisions and impacting your quality of life.

But there’s far more to bipolar disorder than mood swings. At Axis Psychiatry in Las Vegas, Nevada, board-certified adult psychiatrist Uzma Zafar, MD, and our compassionate and skilled team diagnose and treat men and women who are suffering from bipolar disorder. In this blog, they share more about common signs of bipolar disorder to look for if you suspect you or someone you love may have it.

Signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 4% of the adult population in the United States struggles with the condition. The symptoms usually show up between the ages of 18-29, but they can affect anyone at any time. There are three types of bipolar disorder – bipolar I, bipolar II, and cyclothymic. Each type varies in severity, but share several telltale signs and symptoms, such as:  

Extreme mood swings 

Do you find yourself experiencing strong emotional highs that are followed by intense lows? One moment you're incredibly happy, full of excitement and boundless energy, and the next, you can't lift your head off the pillow or look forward to anything – this pendulum of emotions is often a sign of bipolar disorder.

Changes in energy levels

 Does your energy drastically fluctuate? During episodes of mania, you feel like can do anything and everything, often taking on more than you can handle, jumping from task to task, and staying up all night for multiple nights. When the depression hits, small, everyday tasks feel daunting, and you struggle to find a reason to get out of bed.

Impulsive behavior 

When you’re manic, you may engage in risky behaviors that never tempted you before. Maybe you’ve taken out a loan without telling your spouse or partner, started gambling, taken illegal drugs, or taken unhealthy chances with your sex life. These types of impulsive behaviors are signature signs of bipolar disorder.

Difficulty concentrating

 Is it difficult to focus on your job or to maintain a train of thought? Are you experiencing racing thoughts that make it nearly impossible to concentrate and accomplish anything? Or, do you have brain fog and decision fatigue and feel incapable of processing information or making decisions?

Changes in sleep patterns

 During manic periods, you bypass sleep and stay up all hours of the night. When your mood is low, you struggle with insomnia and can’t get out of bed in the morning. Have you noticed changes in your sleep patterns that concern you?

Mood triggers 

What’s triggering your mood swings? If you have bipolar disorder, normal events and situations like work stress or schedule changes seem to set you off and send you on a rollercoaster of emotion.

Treatment options to improve quality of life

If you’re familiar with any of these signs and symptoms, reach out to our skilled and caring team for help. Dr. Zafar conducts thorough psychiatric assessments and offers comprehensive care if bipolar disorder is disrupting your life. Some of the treatments she frequently recommends include:

For a comprehensive mental health exam, call our office in Las Vegas, Nevada, at 702-330-3252 or request an appointment online.

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