The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Determining someone’s physical health is easy, but knowing if his mind is healthy is a different matter.
Someone is said to be of sound mind when he or she has the ability to see his or her own worth and is capable of interacting properly behaviorally, and emotionally with other people. This lets him or her contribute in a good way to the community that he or she belongs in. However, the mind can also get sick, opening a range of conditions or disorders that change mood, thinking, and behavior. One such illness is Bipolar Disorder.
Bipolar disorder is a mental illness highlighted by erratic mood swings. Individuals with this type of illness find regulating their emotions and moods challenging. Because of this, they can either experience manic episodes or “highs”; or depressive episodes, or “lows.” There are times that a person with Bipolar disorder experience both at the same time.
You might think that Bipolar disorder is rare but, in 2005, it was discovered that “over 5 million people in the US, roughly around 2.6 percent of the population, suffer from some form of bipolar disorder.” While the numbers are staggering, experts believe that there are actually more individuals out there who are suffering from the illness without them realizing.
Bipolar disorder is hard to diagnose, however, there are behavioral signs that could help identify it. We have gathered a list of symptoms and separated them into two groups: Depressive symptoms (items 1-13) and manic symptoms (items 14-25).
Here are 25 of the most common signs of bipolar disorder:
1. Suicidal Thoughts
The most serious sign that suggests an underlying psychological disorder is when a person has suicidal thoughts. Suicidal thoughts, or suicidal ideation, is when a person considers and formulates a plan on how to go about killing his or herself.
Ideas of ending one’s life may enter a person’s mind due to extreme stress, or, in cases of people with a mental illness, depression. Both conditions prevent affected persons from properly coping. These thoughts of killing one’s self can be either be a detailed plan, or it can also be a passing consideration. Oftentimes these ideas are temporary and can be treated, however, in sicker individuals, suicidal thoughts might be too strong, forcing patients to go through with the plan and complete the task.
If someone you know is wrestling with thoughts of ending his or her life, convince them to seek help or take the time to bring them to a specialist for treatment. Giving individuals with bipolar disorder the proper care and protection they need, can not only save their lives but can also make them better.