-- Question: What are the common signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder, and can it affect people differently?
Answer: The most common signs of bipolar disorder are abrupt and dramatic changes in mood, which are much more dramatic than those that affect regular people who do not have bipolar disorder. In classic bipolar disorder there are two phases, there is a manic phase and depressed phase.
And in the manic phase of the illness, people either get euphoric and/or irritable. They can go on spending sprees, they can be sexually promiscuous, they can be sometimes violent and sometimes irritable. In a depressed phase they can be withdrawn, melancholic, pessimistic and sometimes suicidal. In fact, the suicide rate in bipolar disorder is very high. Sometimes these symptoms can come together, and people can be irritable and depressed at the same time. And the illness affects different people differently. There's different degrees of mania, there are different degrees of depression.
Some people can have mild illness, some people have severe illness. Some people can function like really you and me, and sometimes better. And other people have chronic illness and have symptoms irregardless of medication. Also, in children, the illness manifests itself differently.And the mood swings can sometimes occur several times a day as opposed to once in maybe one or two years, the way it would be in the adults.
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