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Personality Disorders are like tips of icebergs. They rest on a foundation of causes and effects, interactions and events, emotions and cognitions, functions and dysfunctions that together form the individual and make him or her what s/he is. I have always been interested in people, their ways of thinking and behaving. Studying psychology has partially satisfied my curiosity, however, I have also ended up more intrigued then ever! I have a great interest in neuropsychology or simply, the way our brains work. I have worked in various mental health environments and have seen the effects that absence of good mental health can have on people. However, I have also become much more aware of the ignorance and stigma, which is unfortunately, still attached to mental illnesses and mental instabilities. I have set up a web site as well as this blog to promote the awareness of mental health and the related issues, to help eliminate the prejudiced thinking prevalent in our societies. I hope both will develop into useful resources for different individuals and I look forward to all the interesting comments and posts from the readers, who are all welcome to sign up to the blog.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Do you have bipolar?

The first question that you need to ask is, if you indeed have this condition. Learning the signs and symptoms will help you to weigh the need to seek out medical attention. If any of your symptoms are severe or you are considering harming yourself, you must seek immediate medical attention as soon as possible.

Bipolar individuals will go through an alternating pattern of highs and lows that play on their emotions. The highs are called episodes of mania. The lows are episodes of depression. The intensity of these highs and lows will vary from person to person and from one episode to the next. For some, the symptoms can be quite mild but for others they can be quite severe. In addition to this, you may also have very normal times too.

During the manic phase, there are a number of symptoms that can be observed.
  • You may feel extremely happy and optimistic. You may feel euphoria. You may also have an inflated self esteem or ego.

  • You may have very poor judgement, and you may know this by being told by others that you’ve made the wrong decision.

  • Your speech can be very fast. Your mind is going crazy with thoughts (see earlier Racing Thoughts post below). You may be agitated and feel the need to move your body and your mind. Physical activity may be increased too.

  • Many will be aggressive in their behaviour.

  • Some people find this to be a time of problems with sleeping, problems with concentrating on what you should be doing. You may be easily distracted, and have problems getting tasks accomplished.

  • You can be reckless or you may take chances on things that you normally would not do.

The depressive side of bipolar is often associated with depression like symptoms. These symptoms can include the following, often more than one symptom.
  • Feeling very sad, very guilty or feeling that all is lost. Hopelessness is a common feeling here too. The trademark of a problem is that the symptom is unfounded and is persistent.

  • You may be very tired, often not caring about getting your tasks accomplished. You may lose interest in the things that you do daily, normally. Even those things that you love to do may not be done.

  • You may be very irritable, losing your temper for no real reason.

  • You may not be able to sleep although you are tired. You may not be hungry and some will lose weight because of not eating properly here.

  • Some have problems with pain, too. If you have pain that there is no real cause for, this can be a sign of depressive behaviour.

  • The most serious of all symptoms and signs of depressive behaviour is that of thoughts of suicide. If you have these thoughts, your condition needs immediate attention.

If you think that you have any of these symptoms, then you need to work with your doctor to be diagnosed. It is necessary to get treatment and treatment really can help you!

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