Each year approximately 5 million people suffer the consequences of Bi-polar disorder. It is a serious illness and sometimes since you are reading this you might be wondering if it affects you. Although everyone experiences ups and downs in their life, if you are suffering from bi-polar disorder your ups and downs will be extreme. These extreme ups and downs are referred to as cycles of mania and depression. These cycles could significantly damage your finances, interpersonal relations and career. Although diagnosis of a mood disorder is best done under the care of a physiatrist, there are common symptoms or signs that could tell you that you might have a mood disorder.

The symptoms vary from person to person which makes bi-polar disorder difficult to diagnose. However, there are common signs to watch for in your behavior if you suspect that you have bi-polar disorder. The important thing to remember you may not notice the behaviors as they occur, you will feel as if, no matter how bizarre or damaging the behavior that you are normal. Often only during the normal phases that occurs between the manic and depressive cycles will you be able to notice or see that you behaved abnormally. The consequences of your behaviors may be the tip off. Therefore, if you feel you are suffering from bi-polar disorder seek help immediately.

When trying to decide if you suffer from bi-polar disorder look for the following signs:

* Abnormal or excessive euphoria or energy – If you suffer from bipolar you will have periods of excessive euphoria or elation. This elation could be at odds with the real status of your life. In addition, this overly optimistic mood may be accompanied by a break from reality. This makes self-diagnosis extremely difficult. As a result of this extreme optimism, inter-personal relationships may suffer, especially at work.

* Racing thoughts and / or racing speech – During periods of mania, you may experience flights of ideas, or racing thoughts. Your mind will dart from idea to idea with no connection. These flights of ideas often lead to pressured or racing speech. You will become loud, people will have difficulty understanding you, your speech will often be disconnected and one thought unrelated to the other. During these periods, you may not recognize your own symptoms or have difficulty accepting them. This is why an impartial friend or physician is necessary to make an correct diagnosis.

* Grandiose Thinking – When mania sets in an exaggerated sense of your own self-worth is common. You may believe that you are more important than you are; you have more power or knowledge. This grandiose thinking and behavior often leads to problems at work, with friends and family and could potentially cause significant legal problems. Grandiose thinking is dangerous to you, and unfortunately, during this phase you may not recognize that your behaviors are abnormal.

* Sleep Problems – Depending on whether you are experiencing mania or depression, your sleep problems differ. For example, during depression you may sleep longer and still feel tired and have little energy. Although during mania you might sleep very little, it is not uncommon to go days without sleep, and still feel as if you have unlimited amounts of energy.

* Depression – As the term manic / depression describes forms of both depression and mania is necessary to be diagnosed with manic / depression or bi-polar disorder. A manic depression is similar to normal depression with symptoms of lack of energy, loss of appetite, sleep and focus problems. However, a manic-depressive distinguishing itself by irritability and of course the alternative phase of mania.

Although knowing the signs of bi-polar disorder could have helped in diagnosing the illness, often during the mania phase of the illness, you will be unwilling or unable to recognize your own symptoms. Should you feel you have bi-polar illness seek medical attention immediately before the symptoms and behaviors of the illness damage your life, family and career.