1. Decreased need for sleep
Disturbance to one’s sleeping pattern is a chief symptom of bipolar disorder. Manic cycles of bipolar disorder are typically characterized by elevated energy levels in a person and can affect regular sleep routine. Some people might get as little as 4-5 hours of sleep in the manic phase, which can lead to other health issues over time.
2. Restlessness and agitation
Another symptom of bipolar disorder, again associated with the highs of the manic phase, is visible restlessness and agitation, which can involve the inability to sit still, tapping fingers, being easily irritable, or abruptly starting or stopping tasks. For many people diagnosed with bipolar disorder, this agitation will feel like an anxious restlessness that is difficult, if not impossible, to control.
3. Racing thoughts and accelerated speech
Fast-moving and repetitive thoughts that either focus on a single topic or even cut across several different lines of thought at the same time can be a sign of bipolar disorder, especially if it happens frequently and with high intensity.
The pace of these thoughts as they race through your head can also result in accelerated speech: as your mouth struggles to keep up with your mind, what comes out perhaps doesn’t make as much sense as you thought it would, and people subsequently struggle to understand what you’re saying.
4. Overconfidence and Impulsive Acts
Bipolar disorder can lead to exaggerated feelings of confidence and impulsivity in risky situations. People experiencing these swings of grandiosity may not feel vulnerable with a larger-than-life attitude of superiority exhibited.
5. Withdrawal from Family, Friends and Activities
During the depressive phase, many people with bipolar disorder often feel apathy towards activities they once enjoyed, withdraw from a healthy lifestyle, and dissociate themselves from friends and family, shutting themselves off from the outside.
Depression can lead people to withdraw from everything and everyone around them, and be extremely detrimental to relationships, especially if not properly diagnosed or treated.
6. Easy tearfulness, frequent sadness
7. Change in appetite and sleep
Bipolar disorder can result in significant changes in a person’s eating habits and sleeping patterns. It could be either bingeing on food or perhaps not eating anything at all.
We already mentioned a decreased need for sleep, but one might also suffer extreme levels of fatigue or spend the entire day in bed, particularly during the depressive cycle.
Whether it’s yourself or someone else you’re worried about, it might be a good idea to keep an eye on both the appetite and sleep routines – If these signs constantly fluctuate and don’t normalize after a couple of weeks, consider getting professional help.