Bipolar disorder can feel like riding a roller coaster. People with bipolar experience high highs (mania), low lows (depression), and unexpected loop-de-loops.
Mania lasts for at least one week, and is characterized by…
- Fast and excessive talking
- Increased energy
- Feeling like you don’t need sleep
- Throwing yourself into huge projects
- A burst of unusual creativity or ideas
- Making impulsive decisions (like suddenly deciding to travel, or gambling all your money away)
- A surge in self-esteem, making you feel special, important, or chosen
If you’ve had an experience like this that has lasted at least four days, but not a whole week, it may have been hypomania (a less intense or long-lasting version of full-blown mania).
Depression is the flip side of bipolar disorder. Depression can loom over your life, making you feel hopeless and worthless. You may not want to get out of bed or be around others. You may feel like there’s no point in continuing to live.
If you are having suicidal thoughts, with no imminent plans or intent, please call someone you trust and talk to them about it. If you are actively thinking about suicide, or have intentions or plans to complete an attempt, please call 911 or the National Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-8255 immediately.
Many people with bipolar disorders live meaningful lives. Therapy and psychiatric services can help you establish balance and control.