Bipolar anxiety is a symptom of bipolar disorder ? one of a number of health conditions with the power to severely impact your life. Bipolar disorder and bipolar anxiety can be detrimental to a your mental and/or physical well-being if not managed properly.
While everyone living with bipolar anxiety experiences emotions differently, there are certain symptoms associated with bipolar anxiety that can make everyday life difficult. As such, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of bipolar anxiety in order to come up with a proper diagnosis.
Many people experience changes in their mood or level of anxiety. People with bipolar anxiety, though, may experience drastic changes resulting in intense mood swings, which can hinder their relationships and other aspects of their daily lives. If you experience bipolar anxiety, you may have bipolar disorder or anxiety disorder. This is not uncommon, and there are ways to treat these conditions both together and separately.
What is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that can cause various shifts in a person’s mood, which may negatively impact their abilities to function. Also described as manic-depressive illness, the disorder can result in severe emotional issues, including depression and bipolar anxiety.
Mood swings caused by the disorder can persist for weeks or longer and can include dramatic episodes in which the person is irritable, sad, hopeless or even overly high. Mood changes can result in severe behavior changes that can recur over time. These periods of emotional highs and lows are described as mania and depression and can occur suddenly, alongside normal behavior.
What Is a Manic Episode?
Manic episodes are diagnosed when an elevated mood is accompanied by three or more primary symptoms for most of the day, mostly every day, for a minimum of one week. If an irritable mood is present, then you must experience four additional symptoms to be diagnosed.
If you are experiencing a manic episode, you may experience some of the following:
- Increased activity, energy or restlessness
- Talking fast
- An excessive high or euphoric mood
- Severe irritability
- Inability to concentrate
- Poor judgment
- Racing thoughts
- Requiring little sleep
- Spending sprees
- Increased sexual appetite
- Drug abuse
- Aggressive behavior
- Provocative behavior
What is a Depressive Episode?
Depressive episodes are diagnosed if at least five primary depressive symptoms are present for most of the day, mostly every day, for a consistent period of two weeks or more.
Symptoms of a depressive episode may include:
- Lasting sad mood
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Decreased in interest in hobbies
- Decreased energy or fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating
- Too much sleep
- Weight loss or gain
- Thoughts of suicide
What Are the Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder and Bipolar Anxiety?
The symptoms associated with bipolar anxiety can mimic those of other health conditions. People with bipolar anxiety may experience the following:
- Anxious distress — feelings of tenseness or restlessness, trouble concentrating due to worry, fear of impending doom, or a feeling of loss of control.
- Mixed features — fitting the criteria that describe a manic or hypomanic episode while simultaneously experiencing some symptoms relating to a major depressive episode
- Atypical features — experiencing symptoms not common in most major depressive episodes – for instance, experiencing an elevated mood in positive situations
- Catatonia — inability to react to your surroundings, not speaking, not listening, or mimicking someone’s speech or movements
- Melancholic features — experiencing a loss of interest or pleasure in most activities with no improvement of mood even in positive situations
- Rapid cycling — experiencing four or more episodes of mood swing episodes during a one-year period with a full or partial remission of the associated symptoms in between manic, hypomanic or major depressive episodes
- Seasonal pattern — a lifelong pattern of experiencing manic, hypomanic or major depressive episodes, which change according to season
- Peripartum onset — the onslaught of bipolar disorder symptoms that can arise during a pregnancy or during the month after delivery
- Psychosis — extreme episodes of mania or depression (excluding hypomania), which may result in delusions, hallucinations and a general detachment to reality
There are a variety of types of bipolar disorder. Some of these include…
- Bipolar I disorder. You’ve experienced a minimum of one manic episode, which may be preceded by or followed by a hypomanic or major depressive episode. Mania symptoms may result in significant impairment and may require hospitalization.
- Bipolar II disorder. You’ve experienced a minimum of one major depressive episode that lasted for at least two weeks as well as a minimum of one hypomanic episode that lasted four days or longer, but you’ve never experienced a manic episode. These depressive episodes or mood swings can result in distress in areas of your everyday life.
- Cyclothymic disorder. You’ve experienced a minimum of two years—or one year for children and teenagers — of numerous instances of hypomania symptoms and instances of depressive symptoms. During this time, symptoms occur at a minimum of half the time and don’t cease for longer than two months. Symptoms can cause significant distress.
How Can I Manage my Bipolar Disorder and Bipolar Anxiety?
If you are like one of the millions currently living with bipolar anxiety, you may be seeking a new method of management. Seeking a prompt diagnosis is important if you are experiencing symptoms of bipolar disorder or anxiety.
There are a variety of methods that may be helpful in alleviating the symptoms associated with bipolar anxiety. These can include cognitive behavioral therapy or natural methods that, when used with a healthy diet and exercise plan, can improve your state of mind.
Maintaining good physical health is also effective in managing bipolar anxiety. Some things you can do to maintain good health include…
- Getting enough rest
- Eating a healthy diet
- Minimizing stress
- Avoiding caffeine
- Refraining from illegal drugs
- Sleeping at the same time each night
Finding an effective form of management for your bipolar disorder is important for relieving anxiety and maintaining good quality of life. Experiment with different methods with the help of a professional to find the right method of management for you.
Which methods do you find most effective in coping with your bipolar anxiety?