The Difference Between Bipolar Disorder and Normal Ups and Downs

The Difference Between Bipolar Disorder and Normal Ups and Downs

Last week you had one of the best days you’ve had in months, but today you do not have the energy to get out of bed. Sometimes you feel like you are on top of the world, but other times you can feel its entire weight on your shoulders. All this constant change in mood and mindset may feel hectic, but when is mood change abnormal? Everyone experiences ups and downs on a daily basis, but frequent extreme mood swings may be a sign of bipolar disorder. Understanding the difference between normal mood changes and the symptoms of bipolar disorder can help you diagnose a mental health issue earlier and avoid false diagnoses of normal symptoms.

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder that results in periods of elevated and depressed mood states. People with bipolar disorder experience wild mood swings that affect decision-making and the ability to carry out daily tasks. Bipolar disorder is often unrecognized because symptoms are difficult to distinguish from depression. The main difference between bipolar disorder and depression is the existence of manic episodes. Depression is characterized by low mood states, but bipolar also includes manic episodes where the patient’s mood is elevated and he is abnormally happy. The constant swing between depression and a manic state make it difficult for sufferers to be productive and may require medication.

Do I Have Bipolar Disorder?

You should always seek a doctor for official diagnosis, but knowing what to look for can help you identify bipolar disorder early. Bipolar symptoms are more powerful than the normal ups and downs experienced by all people. Bipolar symptoms can damage relationships, make it difficult to attend work or school and may cause you to become suicidal. Signs of bipolar disorder may include:

  • Feeling jumpy or wired
  • Feeling extremely happy
  • Feeling the need to talk very fast
  • Frequent insomnia
  • Feeling down or depressed
  • Feeling hopeless or anxious
  • Having trouble focusing
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Losing interest in fun activities

Is This Normal or Do I Have Bipolar Disorder?

You should not seek treatment without talking to a doctor, but if you want to learn more about bipolar symptoms or are ready to seek professional treatment you should give our toll-free helpline a call. Our trained addiction experts are here for you 24 hours a day to help you find the treatment you need to make a full recovery from bipolar disorder. With therapy you can learn to manage your symptoms so bipolar disorder does not disrupt your daily life. Your health insurance may help cover the cost of treatment, so ask about your policy when you call.