How to Know If You Are Bipolar

Staying in optimal mental health is a challenge sometimes, particularly these days. However, feeling like your emotions might be a little out of the norm could be a good sign that you need to speak to someone about what it is that you’re feeling. Feeling drastic or otherwise significant fluctuations in mood can have many people wondering how to know if you’re bipolar. 

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental health disorder that is marked by extreme shifts or cycles in the individual’s mood. There are two primary forms of bipolar disorder that are dependent on the types of symptoms the patient is experiencing. One of the biggest signs of bipolar disorder is slipping into a severe depression for long periods, before returning to normal. Another symptom can also be cycling to a manic “high” from a depressive low. In many patients, this mania is a dangerous state that can cause extremely risky behavior and impulsivity. 

What Is The Difference Between Bipolar I & II?

Bipolar I is the first form of the disorder and is diagnosed by the presence of at least one manic episode in their lifetime. Sometimes they may also experience hypomanic episodes where they have not reached full mania, either before or after a major depressive episode.

Bipolar II is diagnosed when the patient has at least one major depressive episode that lasts at least two weeks. They will also have had at least one hypomanic episode that can last about a week. Bipolar II may be more commonly encountered in women.

How To Know If You’re Bipolar

If you find yourself Googling “how to know if you’re bipolar” or “how do I know If I have bipolar depression”, while you may not actually have a bipolar diagnosis, you should still probably talk to someone. Feeling like you might have unaddressed mental health issues is a solid indication that you might actually have mental health issues, or that you need professional reassurance that the thoughts or behaviors that you’re experiencing are just part of the average human experience.

Symptoms Of Bipolar I

To obtain a diagnosis of bipolar I, the patient will often need to meet 3 criteria. They will need to have had at least one manic episode that has lasted a week, they need to have symptoms that significantly affect their daily function, and the symptoms need to be unrelated to other mental health disorders or unauthorized substance use. There may also be symptoms of psychosis, or mania and depression simultaneously, but neither is required for a firm diagnosis. 

Symptoms Of Bipolar II

To obtain a diagnosis of bipolar II, the patient will need the following:

  • 1 hypomanic episode 4 days or greater, that carries 3 or more official symptoms of hypomania
  • Changes in mood related to hypomania that others can notice
  • At least 1 major depressive episode that lasts 2 weeks or more, and which carries 5 or more of the primary depression symptoms
  • Symptoms that are not related to any other potential medical or mental health condition, and are not related to substance use

If You Think You May Be Bipolar Talk To Someone Local

If you feel like you may have undiagnosed bipolar disorder, the most important thing you can do for yourself is to speak to a local professional. Not only can a licensed clinician provide a proper diagnosis, but they can also discuss potential treatment plans, and even begin scheduling treatment if you wish. The first step is just to reach out and speak to a local treatment expert at Casa Recovery about your needs.

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