Symptoms of bipolar disorder include major mood swings. One moment you might be on Cloud 9, giddy, or in a state of euphoria. And then all of the sudden, without anything triggering it, you can feel incredibly sad, hopeless, or even suicidal. The shifts can happen a few times a year or even a few times a day. You may experience intense feelings that last almost all day for two or three weeks or even longer. You feel like you can do the work of three people, and sometimes even do. You can also be agitated or irritable. You may even talk a mile a minute or try to do a lot of things at once, including things you typically wouldn’t or shouldn’t do (like spending a lot of money, talking to random people on the street, or engaging in risky sexual activity). Your “wired” feeling may make it hard for you to rest and sleep.
In contrast, during a depressive period, you experience intense sad and hopeless feelings that last almost all day for two or three weeks, or even longer. You may sleep or lie in bed for extended periods. These feelings can sap your energy, causing you to feel tired. You may become forgetful and lose interest in activities you once enjoyed. Being “down” (as in rock-bottom down, not just sad about a bad grade or a breakup) may also cause you to worry a lot and keep you from sleeping.
If you have experienced any of these symptoms and are concerned, talk to your doctor ASAP.