Bipolar disorder is a very common issue for many people and is a diagnosis that many people do not really understand. When someone is diagnosed as bipolar this means that they can swing very quickly from one mood or state of mind to another which can seem quite erratic to those who are around them but many people do not, at least at first, realize that the person is dealing with a disorder.

Confusion arises when the terminology of mania comes up when researching bipolar disorders. The dictionary states mania as an excess excitation or enthusiasm. Most people would interpret this as a happy state of being. For bipolar individuals it can mean a period of wild behavior or excess rages. Mania takes on a whole different meaning when used in regards to bipolar individuals.

There are many symptoms that appear in a person who has bipolar disorder. Some are more predominate then others and are more noticeable to the average person. Along the erratic mood swings you may observe lack of control, angry outbursts, little need for sleep, can not control their impulses. Other behaviors may be negligent sexual behavior, inflated ego or extreme spending sprees. However, the other side of their elated state is the tormenting and severe bouts of depression.

The ominous signs of a depressive bipolar individual can be seen in the inability to make decisions or concentrate, either an increase of loss of appetite, excess fatigue where they do not even want to get out of the bed to horrific thoughts of suicide. Many times during the periods, the individual will withdraw from family and friends which is hard for those who truly care about them. No one knows how long these episodes can last. Because of this, bipolar disorder can be difficult to diagnose. For some these episodes switch quickly and multiple times a day and others stay in one state for a longer period of time.

Substance abuse is a common problem among those with this disorder as is suicide. Overall, getting an accurate diagnosis and the treatment that is needed can help a person to keep their symptoms under control and begin to live a healthy and productive life once again. Mental illness can be difficult to address since the symptoms can be in a constant state of flux but it is important to realize that help is available for those who are struggling with this illness.