Summary: Bipolar disorder is a condition characterized by extreme feelings of mania and depression or both. It is a psychiatric condition that has no cure but can only be controlled through proper medication and modification of lifestyle choices.

When we talk about bipolar disorder, we are referring to a serious psychiatric condition that requires proper supervision, medication and treatment. People that have bipolar disorder exhibit symptoms of mania and depression. The symptoms range from mild to severe manifestations that could lead to fatal consequences if not managed properly. Here is a discussion of the symptoms of bipolar disorder in adults.

In order for bipolar disorder to be diagnosed in adults, it has to follow a certain criteria based on DSM-IV or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Psychiatric Disorders. A person that exhibits symptoms of a single manic episode or a combination of manic and depressive symptoms or an incidence of mixed types of symptoms has bipolar disorder. Adults that exhibit bipolar disorder often have unusual feelings of mania like a feeling of extreme self-exultation.  The self-esteem they have is extravagant and there are grandiose perceptions of themselves that often last for seven days. Other manic symptoms of bipolar disorder include a decreased need for sleep, insomnia, flight of ideas being exhibited and the individual engages in risky sexual behaviors. There is also evidence of significant spending without any reason.

On the other end of the bipolar spectrum is depression. Adults experience a chronic state of feeling sad and worthless. The duration of this episode usually lasts for a couple of weeks. Other symptoms felt by sufferers include the inability to feel any enjoyment towards any activity. There is also anergia or depressed energy in the individual. Patients also experience hypersomnia or excessive sleeping. There is also a change in appetite and appearance of pervasive feelings of guilt, which is imagined.

Mixed Indicators

People with mixed episodes of bipolar disease often exhibit symptoms of euphoria followed by sadness. This condition can be classified as rapid cycling of emotions as sufferers may experience delight and sadness within the span of one moment. Patients also suffer from irritability and are often agitated because they cannot control their feelings.

Once the condition of bipolar disorder has been diagnosed, psychiatric treatment is implemented which must be followed to the letter in order to avoid relapses. The patient including the immediate caregiver and family members undergo counseling in order to help in controlling and managing symptoms should there be an episode.

Patients are advised to learn what triggers their bipolar disorder. One such trigger can be lack of sleep, which can spark a manic episode. It is important to note that not all patients experience the exact same symptoms which is why it is really essential for the patient as well as the people living with them to learn to recognize problems as early as possible. One effective method of understanding the symptoms is through the creation of a mood chart. This is basically a simple chart where the patient lists what day and time certain mood changes happen. He is also encouraged to put down any event that happened prior to the mood change. This will help bipolar sufferers to be able to recognize certain patterns.

Patients are advised to take their medications on time. A lot of the relapses that were seen with bipolar disorder occurred because the patient thinking they have been cured of their condition suddenly stops their medication abruptly. 

Adults with bipolar disorder should create a routine for themselves in order to minimize the possibility of triggering an episode. For instance, setting a specific eating and night time rest schedule in order to ensure that they get the proper rest needed. Incorporate positive thoughts to their everyday living and try to avoid undue stress at work by sticking to activities they are best at is also advised.