As adults, we do experience ups and downs in our lives, but in the case of bipolar disorder, they are more severe. The symptoms of bipolar disorder symptoms can hurt one’s job performance, damage relationships, and overall disrupt daily life. Even though it’s treatable and manageable, most people, especially adults, fail to recognize the early warning signs and seek the much necessary needed help.

Bipolar disorder usually worsens without treatment, and in adults, this can be unforgiving and very dangerous. For example, during a manic episode, an adult may impulsively quit their job, sometimes they may even charge up huge amounts on their credit cards, or surprisingly, feel rested after sleeping for only two hours. During a depressive episode, the same person feels too tired to get out of bed and becomes full of self-hate and hopelessness over being unemployed and overly in debt.

Adults experience certain mood episodes in relation to their bipolar disorder

Signs and Symptoms of Mood episodes in Adults

Mood episodes in bipolar disorder manifest in four common ways: mania, hypomania, depression, and mixed episodes. Every mood episode has a unique number of symptoms.

  1. Mania

Bipolar disorder manic phase is characterized by feelings of heightened energy, creativity, and euphoria. Individuals experiencing a manic episode often speak many words in a minute, have very little sleep and are hyperactive. They sometimes also exhibit feelings of being all-powerful, invincible or even destined for much greatness.

These all seems good at first, but it has the potential to spiral out of control, as reckless behaviors develop, like uncontrolled and uncalculated gambling, making of foolish investment plans, engaging in risky and inappropriate sexual behaviors, in addition to becoming increasingly angry, irritable and overly aggressive. Sometimes they become delusional.

  1. Hypomania symptoms

Hypomania is a moderate form of mania. People in this state usually feel euphoric, slightly more energetic, and also more productive, but their daily lives are not affected, they carry on normally and never become delusional, losing touch with reality. To other normal people, hypomanics just seem like people in a cherry mood.

However, potential risks are not far from those suffering from mania, poor judgments (in career, finances and maintaining a reputation) can occur also relationships can be affected. Moreover, this condition can escalate to full-blown mania or is followed by severe depression.

  • Depression

In the previous years, bipolar depression was lumped up with normal/regular depression, but it should be noted that there is a significant difference between the two. For example use of antidepressants sometimes will not help bipoles, instead, it could potentially trigger mania or hypomania, resulting in rapid mood swings and/or interfere with other drugs (mood stabilizers).

Despite many similarities, between regular depression and bipolar depression, certain symptoms are common for the bipolar like, irritability, severe guilt, violent erratic behaviors, unpredictable mood swings and restlessness. Individuals with bipolar depression also seem to move and speak slowly, they also tend to sleep more often, and gain weight. Moreover, they can develop psychotic depression (losing contact with reality) and also experience work performance and social functioning difficulties.

  1. Mixed episode symptoms

As the name suggest, it features symptoms of mania or hypomania coupled with depression. This harmful combo is a high risk of suicidal tendencies.