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What Does it Feel Like to Have a Bipolar Disorder?

What is a bipolar disorder?

To describe bipolar disorder in one sentence is difficult. There are many forms of “bipolar affective disorder,” and so, just like all mental illnesses, it’s different for everyone. Although of course bipolar symptoms are bound by a few constraints.

Personally, I have rapid cycling bipolar. I have had this disease (yes, it’s a disease) for more than twenty years and i’m able to hide it from people quite well. The reason for hiding it is so others don’t think you’re bonkers and treat you any differently. I have lost many relationships with friends and family because of my illness. This is very common in mental illnesses and especially in bipolar disorders.

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness defined by severe mood swings. By mood swings, we don’t mean from happy to sad. In bipolar it’s when the mood swings between the states of depression and mania. People who have bipolar disorder do not feel in control of their personality or mood. Often whether taking medication or not.

Bipolar diagnosis

For a bipolar diagnosis, you must have at least one manic and one depressive episode a year. Classic bipolar sufferers feel “normal” for a short time through the year. This diagnosis changes for those with rapid cycling bipolar. With rapid cycling bipolar the person can feel “normal” for a few hours or days, but then suffer mood swings that may last just a short time.

Are bipolar people ever stable?

Periods of “normal” mental function is known as a transition between one or the other extreme. People recovering from depression feel stable for a few weeks, before swinging into mania. And vice versa.

Living With Mania

Mania is a psychosis in which a person feels extreme euphoria and elation. During manic episodes bipolar patients feel invincible, unusually confident, grandiose, and experience racing thoughts.

What does bipolar depression feel like?

Telling someone with depression to "just snap out of it" is like telling a blind person to "just look harder"

Bipolar people in an untreated depressive episode may feel desperate, sad or angry. They may also feel inexplicably irritable. Physically, they feel the persistent fatigue that makes them sleep more than 18 hours a day.

What are the best drugs to prevent bipolar episodes?

Drugs such as lithium and antidepressants can help stabilize and prevent extreme moods. Many bipolar patients complain that mood stabilizers and antipsychotics makes them feel emotionally detached. These drugs can also make the sufferer feel they are looking at the world through a fog.

Bipolar is very difficult to live with, difficult to diagnose and treat. Couple all of that with the stigma associated with all mental illness and you can see how lonely it can be.

Please help fight stigma, and please be there for those in crisis.

How does mental illness affect you?

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What Does it Feel Like to Have a Bipolar Disorder?
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What Does it Feel Like to Have a Bipolar Disorder?
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What is a bipolar disorder? To describe bipolar disorder in one sentence is difficult. There are many forms of “bipolar affective disorder,” and so, just like all mental illnesses, it's different for everyone.
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Mental Health News
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About Alan

Alan is a mental health service user in Cornwall, UK. Although generally the NHS has been very good with his care, their are some weak links. Thats why he started this blog, to share experiences and resources on various mental health illnesses. Also, to bring the headlines about mental health to the foreground. Alan enjoys walking his dogs, taking photos, watching movies and playing the PS4 :-)

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