DEPRESSION AND BIPOLAR CHECKLIST

Think through these lists and see how many symptoms you or your loved ones have. Scroll down to learn the basics about Bipolar Disorder and learn how to get help. 

MANIA

  • Energetic/driven
  • Life of the party
  • Over-committed
  • Racing thoughts
  • Talking more rapidly, loudly, and/or excessively
  • Financially irresponsible
  • Needs little sleep
  • Aggressive, controlling
  • Overly happy & optimistic
  • Dangerous risk-taking
  • Easily agitated
  • Irritable, angry, impatient
  • Poor judgment/impulsive
  • Drug/alcohol abuse
  • Grandiose
  • Overly self-confident
  • All-knowing
  • Increased interest in sex
  • Obsessive thoughts
  • Inflated self-esteem
  • Increased sexual drive
  • Reduced need for sleep
  • "High" feelings (bordering on euphoria)
  • Provocative or mildly aggressive behavior
  • Increased energy, activity, and talkativeness
  • Mixed feelings: happy and sad at the same time
  • Hallucinations

DEPRESSION

  • Unable to enjoy pleasure in anything
  • Little motivation
  • Withdrawal from phone and people
  • Sleep problems: too little or too much
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Poor memory
  • Low self-esteem
  • Self-condemning
  • Sense of failure and
  • extreme guilt
  • All pervasive inner emotional pain
  • Agitated more than usual
  • Extremely fatigued
  • Cry easily
  • Physical problems
  • Paranoid
  • Pessimistic about future
  • Hopeless
  • Obsessive thoughts
  • Disorganized
  • Risk-taking
  • Procrastination
  • Inability to function
  • Suicidal Thinking and Planning

Bipolar Basics

A person suffering from bipolar disorder (also called manic depression) experiences extreme moods that alternate between high or "manic" phases, and low or "depressive" phases. People with mild cases are often undiagnosed until their disorder progresses to more severe or even life threatening symptoms (e.g. suicidal depression, or manic delusions).

A manic high usually feels good and for this reason those in a manic or mild (hypo manic) state will almost always deny that anything is wrong with them. They simply feel too good to believe anything is wrong. In a manic condition, it is difficult to reason with them.

In order to receive proper diagnosis and treatment your symptoms and family history (of mood swings, depression, and/or alcohol/drugs/gambling/sexual addictions need to be identified. The symptoms of any bipolar episode (mania or depression) are usually limited to distinct, time-limited periods of illness. These episodes are separated by times when the person has few or no symptoms.

Episodes vary from person to person. They generally occur in cycles, some lasting as long as a year (episodes have been known to last years), some may last only minutes. Whenever a person experiences four or more episodes within a 12 month period, that person is said to have "rapid cycling" form of bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness).

How to Get Help

  1. Check off your symptoms from the bipolar checklist and show them to your doctor, therapist or nurse
  2. See a psychiatrist or physician to get appropriate medication and regular monitoring
  3. Get talk therapy from a therapist
  4. Meet regularly with supportive people
  5. Educate yourself about your illness via books, magazines, tapes, seminars, support groups, conferences, and the internet.
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