Bipolar Disorder is a condition that portends extremities in an individual’s moods, behavior, energy and activity levels. Unlike the usual ups and downs of ordinary life, bipolar disorder is characterized by high intensity of experience – from the highs of mania on one hand to the extreme lows of depression on the other. Thus, an alternative term for this condition is manic depression.

The mood swings of bipolar disorder last for days, weeks or even several months. They are of high severity such that they impede routine functioning in varied ways. Despite this, it is difficult to diagnose bipolar disorder for its signs and symptoms may be rather subtle. But if diagnosed correctly, long-term treatment, which includes medication, external support and self-help, can allow a bipolar individual to live a healthy life.

Here’s a list of signs that are symptomatic of bipolar disorder. Anyone observing such signs in themselves or a loved one should consult a mental health professional immediately.

1. Great Mood, Happy Feelings

Typically experienced in the hypomanic or manic phase, bipolar individuals feel a sense of euphoria and exhilaration without cause. They are excitable and energetic; a high which usually does not last too long. Unfortunately, such a disposition is often mistaken as “good mood”, especially in hypomanic episodes where the intensity of mania is less severe. Several bipolar individuals quite enjoy this phase of their illness, when the “high” brings them much happiness and pleasure. However, after such an episode, the downward spiral is very jarring, often resulting in depression or disorientation.