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Signs You Might Have Bipolar Affective Disorder

Worried about the mood swings you're having? You might want to look at signs you might have Bipolar Affective Disorder to see if it's something more than just "a foul mood."

By David McClearyPublished 5 years ago 4 min read

Most people know about depression, but don't realize that there are certain kinds of mental illnesses that can have depression appearing in cyclical ways. The vicious cycle in question is known for its extreme highs and extreme lows — and it's known as Bipolar Affective Disorder, or just Bipolar Disorder.

Bipolar disorder is characterized by two main stages, at least, in most cases. There's the "manic" stage, which is a time of pure happiness or excitement, and it's followed by the "depressive" phase, which often is described like a "crash."

That's why one of the older names for Bipolar Disorder is Manic-Depression. If you're feeling as if you might have this mood disorder, check for the following signs you might have Bipolar Affective Disorder.

Your moods tend to go from one extreme to another — often unprovoked.

Bipolar is most commonly recognized due to the "mood cycles" people tend to have. Cycles can happen very quickly, or somewhat slowly. However, "mood cycles" are one of the most obvious signs you might have Bipolar Affective Disorder.

One minute, you're giggling like a madwoman about the funny thing you just searched up on the net, the next you feel like weeping for no reason. At times, the cycles may be as little as hours in length. Other times, it could take a days.

More often than not, you won't be able to figure out why you feel the way you do. That's just the nature of the beast.

You often wonder how other people can control their emotions as well as they can.

A lot of people who are Bipolar feel unable to control their temper or their joy. They will often look at people around them and wonder how they seem to stay so unemotional every day — or why they can't understand the way the sufferer feels about everything.

Everyone else seems so calm, while you might be regularly dealing with suicidal thoughts, rapid cycling emotions, or even breaks from reality. (Note: If you're feeling suicidal or notice symptoms of psychosis, contact a mental health professional immediately.)

You've been known to have racing thoughts and start talking...only to suddenly crash and have nothing come of those thoughts.

Don't get us wrong. Everyone will occasionally talk about pipe dreams they pretend to plan out. However, if you make a habit of it, and really believe you're going to do it — only to drop it when a foul mood hits you, this could be one of the many signs you may have Bipolar Affective Disorder.

The reason why is because the hypomania and mania stages of Bipolar Disorder tend to make you very productive. You may reach for the stars, thinking yourself capable of doing anything under the sun. However, when the depression phase hits, that gumption to do it all fades away.

With the motivation gone, most Bipolar people tend to toss many plans in the bin.

You regularly get depressed or irritable — to the point that it affects relationships.

Most people who are affected by depression struggle with it for months, or even years. However, Bipolar people tend to cycle out of it faster than that.

When cycles happen rapidly, irritability tends to be a common symptom of Bipolar Disorder. The problem with these rapid cycles, particularly when it comes to irritability, is how they affect your relationships.

The cycling and irritability can make Bipolar Affective Disorder sufferers act out and appear to be unpredictable. This makes many people avoid them, or even break off relationships with them.

Who can blame them for this reaction? It's scary when you don't know when people will lash out at you. From the outsiders' perspective, you're prone to a five-minute meltdown at any point.

If you regularly find yourself unable to control your behavior around people, ask your doctor about other signs you might have Bipolar Affective Disorder — and if they can help you overcome this illness.

Alcohol and drugs are an issue for you.

For reasons unknown, around half of all people who have Bipolar disorder also tend to struggle with addiction. Alcoholism, in particular, tends to be comorbid with Bipolar disorder. So, if you notice the "highs and lows" and also tend to struggle with drinking, you might have Bipolar syndrome.

That being said, this is one of those signs you may have Bipolar Affective Disorder that might not come up with you. A lot of people who are Bipolar also live a totally sober lifestyle.

You tend to have crazy shopping sprees, wild sex sprees, or poor impulse control.

Many signs you may have Bipolar Affective Disorder deal with how you act with impulses. The manic aspect of Bipolar Disorder tends to loosen up your impulse control — which in turn means that you're more prone to doing risky, reckless things.

Doctors noted that people who have Bipolar Disorders tend to be more likely to have odd sexual behavior, unaffordable shopping sprees, and overall low impulse control. Thankfully, with treatment, this can stop and you can survive with Bipolar Disorder fairly well.


About the Creator

David McCleary

Holistic health practitioner. Believes in using natural remedies over traditional medications whenever possible. Volunteers at a recycling plant.

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