People with bipolar disorders experience peiods of unusually intense emotion, changes in sleep patterns and activity levels, and unusual behaviors. These distinct periods are called “mood episodes”. Mood episodes are drastically different from the moods and behaviors that are typical for the person. Extreme changes in energy, activity, and sleep go along with mood episodes.
People having a manic episode may:
- Feel very “up”, “high”, or elated.
- Have a lot of energy.
- Have increased activity levels.
- Feel “jumpy” or “wired”.
- Have trouble sleeping.
- Become more active than usual.
- Talk really fast about a lot of different things.
- Be agitated, irritable, or “touchy”.
- Feel like their thoughts are going very fast.
- Think they can do a lot of things at once.
- Do risky things, like spend a lot of money or have reckless sex.
People having a deprressive episode may:
- Feel very sad, down, empty, or hopeless.
- Have very little energy.
- Have decreased activity levels.
- Have trouble sleeping, they may sleep too little or two much.
- Feel like they can´t enjoy anything.
- Feel worried and empty.
- Have trouble concentrating.
- Forget things a lot.
- Eat too much or too little.
- Feel tired or “slowed down”.
- Think about death os suicide.
Sometimes a mood episode includes symptoms of both manic and depressive symptoms. This is called an episode with mixed features. People experiencing an episode with mixed features may feel very sad, empty, or hopeless, while at the same time feeling extremely energized.
Bipolar disorder can be present even when mood swings are less extreme. For example, some people with bipolar disorder experience hypomania, a less severe form of mania. During a hypomanic episode, an individual may feel very good, be highly productive, and function well. The person may not feel that anything is wrong, but family and friends may recognize the mood swings and/or changes in activity levels as possible bipolar disorder. Without proper treatment, people with hypomania may develop severe mania or depression.