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Bipolar Disorder and Manic Depressive Illness

Symptoms of Bipolar DisorderAre You Manic?

Take a look at the list below and ask yourself these questions. Do you or does someone you know:

  • Seem to need almost no sleep at all?
  • Become easily distracted?
  • Feel hyperalert and supersensitive?
  • Fidget and move around constantly?
  • Act obnoxiously?
  • Talk a lot and very quickly?
  • Feel on top of the world?
  • Become very irritable for no reason?
  • Have trouble making decisions?
  • Pull dangerous stunts and act invincible?
  • Feel full of creative energy?
  • Come up with lots of wild and impractical ideas?
  • Drink and do drugs excessively?

If the answer is yes to four or more of these questions and you have been feeling these symptoms for more than two weeks, you might be experiencing a manic episode.

Although depression might appear to be the more serious of the two phases, the manic phase is usually more dangerous. When you are manic, you might stay awake for days or even weeks at a time. Although you feel as if you are bursting with energy, your nonstop activity will eventually drain your body's energy reserves, leaving you weak, exhausted, and possibly even dehydrated. With your body's defenses down, you risk catching an infectious disease that a healthy body can normally fight off.

At the same time, when you are experiencing a manic episode, your sense of judgment and reality goes out the window. This can lead to all sorts of excessive behavior, such as gambling and spending sprees, drinking and drug taking, and promiscuous sex and physical risk taking—speeding in a car, for example. The results of such activities—unplanned pregnancies, the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, maxed-out credit cards or a loss of funds, getting kicked out of school or fired from a job, troubles with the police, alienation from friends and family—can wreck a person's life.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaBipolar Disorder and Manic Depressive IllnessBipolar Disorder and Manic Depressive Illness - Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder - Depression Vs. Being A “typical” Teenager, Are You Depressed?, Mania, Are You Manic?