No two days in a person's life (any person's life for that matter) can be the same. Usually, most normal days are a mixture of moments interspersed with laughter and sadness. But sometimes there are days when all you can do is weep, on others, you can only laugh; on some others you are so depressed that it's physically disturbing and on others, you are so excited that you can hardly sit still. Many times, these diametrically opposite emotions can pose a question in our hearts to the effect of - Do I have bipolar disorder? Why does that doubt come about and how should one go about finding the answer to that question? The following article will let you in on a few methods and tests to answer the many doubts about whether you are bipolar or are you just being moody.
What is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar or bipolar depression is another term used to describe manic depression. It is a type of mental illness that can affect a person of any age group. You will find that a person suffering from bipolar disorder (which is a type of depression) will have certain characteristic behavioral patterns - he/she will suffer from diverse shifts in his/her energy, moods and functioning abilities. All of which are experienced in namely two diverse forms, alternating between periods of extreme elevated moods (known as manic episodes) and then overtaken by episodes of severe depression.
What does it mean when one is in a manic state? A manic state is characterized by high bursts of limitless energy, excessive anxiety and irritation, the feeling of being constantly charged, experiencing less need for sleep and having strange patterns of thoughts. On the other hand, depression is a feeling which leads to such profound sadness that it makes normal living impossible. A person loses interest in most things that they initially loved doing. Moreover, they are overcome by fatigue and a feeling of uselessness. Along with that, there is a general lack of concentration in whatever is done. A person may even feel suicidal.
The reason this can be termed as a 'disorder' is because these alternating moods can last for several months at a stretch or they may even last for barely an hour. For example, if a person is going through a manic episode, he might be in that phase for say 2 months, and then suddenly, without any reason, he may slip into depression.
Quiz to Take
Still a little confused and ruminating over and over about whether you are bipolar? The confusion comes about because there have been times when you've had extreme shifts in your moods, right? Let's take it a step further and try to find an answer to your question.
You need to review what it is that you are going through before you can draw a conclusion regarding whether you are really suffering from this disorder. Is there a general feel that something is not right with you? Does it feel like all is not normal? Is the way you are feeling affecting the way you behave? Is this in turn affecting your work and relations with others? If there is an affirmative garnered to all, or most of these queries, then it is definitely something that you should look into. You need to understand though that everyone has certain ups and downs in life and that everyone goes through a mild form of depression sometime or the other in their lives. It becomes a concern, like we said, when it takes a more serious tone.
If you are confused about manic depression and your moods, then you could try and answer some of the questions given in this test. These will help you identify whether or not you might be suffering from this disorder.
- Do you ever feel so distracted that you find it difficult to stay focused on any one thing for long?
- Do you feel like you have much more energy than you normally have?
- Do you feel that at times you are highly talkative and tend to speak faster than usual?
- Do you sometimes feel extremely hostile or angry for no apparent reason?
- Do you want to be a loner sometimes and at other times feel like being with people?
- Do you feel so angry and grouchy that you shout, throw tantrums or argue excessively with others?
- Do you find yourself being much more social and more outgoing than you normally do?
- Do you sleep for lesser time than you normally do, yet feel just fine the next day and carry on with work as normal?
- Do you feel like your thoughts are running at a pace so fast that try as you may, you can't slow them down?
- Do you get into such great moods and are so hyper that people say you aren't acting like your usual self?
- Do you feel so confident, like you've never felt before?
- Do you spend excessive amounts of money which has gotten either you or your family into trouble?
- Do you find yourself talking excessively and loudly or much faster than you would normally do?
- Have you felt much more active than usual and been able to accomplish a lot more than you usually do?
- Do you notice a sudden heightened interest in sex?
- Do you think you have done something that others might consider foolish, excessive or risky?
If your answer has been in the affirmative for at least 3 of the questions listed above, then it may be indicative of bipolar depression. You should visit a health professional to rule out this possibility or to begin the treatment process. These conditions have to be constant and present for a minimum of 3 weeks for the condition to be considered bipolar.
Disclaimer - It is important to note that these questions are only sample questions and in order to get a complete and thorough checking done, you will need to visit a psychologist who will put you through a depression test.
Trying to get an answer to whether one has bipolar disorder can be a very nerve-wrecking question, especially if you know nothing about depression and the different depression symptoms. But now that you have an idea of what this disorder entails, I hope you've been able to administer the test for manic depression and get a sufficient answer to your questions. But if not, visit a psychologist in order to get all your doubts cleared.