Question: What are the symptoms of bipolar disorder and, specifically, the symptoms of mania and depression?
Answer: The symptoms of bipolar disorder are that people experience depressed mood and elevated, or elated mood, meaning depression and mania.
In order to meet the criteria for this illness, one has to have had both of these ends of the mood spectrum. Depression is characterized primarily by very sad mood, or lack of interest in things.
It also includes physical and cognitive symptoms. Things like not sleeping well, not eating well, loss of weight, loss of interest in things.
Oftentimes it's also accompanied by thoughts of death or suicide.
Mania on the other hand is typically thought of as being a rather a elated, or extremely happy mood, more than normal, and might include things like people taking very fast, changing subjects very quickly, doing things like getting involved in risky behaviors.
Driving their car too fast, spending too much money, sexually promiscuous behavior.
The other important thing to know is that mania can also be characterized by a very irritable mood.
That is, when people get very upset easily, very grouchy, sometimes can get in rages or having episodes of violence.
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