If you have any concerns about your risk for suicide, or someone you care about, please give us a call at (619) 594-5220 or the San Diego Access and Crisis Line at (888) 724-7240. We also have a larger section dedicated specifically to suicide.
WHAT IS BIPOLAR DISORDER?
Bipolar Disorder, sometimes referred to as manic depression, is often misunderstood. For example, some people may incorrectly refer to themselves as ‘bipolar’ when they experience a quick mood change.
Someone who has actually been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder experiences this differently. For those individuals, they experience a shift from experiencing mania, which we will describe in a moment, and depression. Both generally last for a period of time that can be from days to weeks. It is possible, but much less common, that they rapidly change back and forth.
Mania is a period of time where a person has elevated, expanded, or irritable mood. In some cases, the mania may make it temporarily impossible to function effectively as a student.
The depressive aspect of bipolar can be very difficult for individuals. Within a few days of feeling like they were on top of the world, they may fall into a deep depression.
It is very important that individuals seek mental health support, whether it is therapy and/or medication when mania and/or depressed mood interferes with an individual’s ability to function.
SYMPTOMS OF BIPOLAR DISORDER
- Feeling elated or irritable/touchy
- Feeling jumpy/wired
- Racing thoughts
- Decreased sleep
- Flight of ideas
- Excessive interest in food, drinking, sex, or other activities that give pleasure
- Believing you can do more than usual without tiring
- Having an inflated sense of importance or your talents
Here are some symptoms of depression. For more information, please visit our depression page.
- Weight loss
- Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
- Feeling restless
- Feeling “slowed down”
- Fatigue/loss of energy
- Feelings of worthlessness or frequent/excessive guilt
- Difficulty concentrating
- Thoughts of death, including suicidal thoughts
STRATEGIES FOR COPING WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER
THREE STRATEGIES FOR BIPOLAR TO TRY TODAY
- If you are curious about learning more about bipolar disorder, you may find it helpful to take one of our 8 mental health screening tools.
ADDITIONAL LINKS AND SUPPORT
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has a nice overview of Bipolar Disorder
- National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) provides and overview and some treatment ideas
- Our sections on depression and suicidal thoughts
- Explore our popular mental health apps section to see if there is an app that can support you
- Learn more about other self care skills you can try