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Bipolar or Moody

Updated on May 13, 2011

Although bipolar individuals are usually sensitive and highly emotional as children, it is no certain indication it will develop to Bipolar Disorder. Due to being highly emotional, they are often described as being moody, erratic or too sensitive.

The difference usually lays in the intensity of the mood swings also known as Manic and Depressive episodes and the impact on the individual’s life, in which Bipolar Disorder is eventually diagnosed. This happens when the mood swings has a debilitating impact on the individual live, such as not being able to get up from bed for several days or rage and impulsive behaviours such as gambling and unsafe sex.

Bipolar Disorder is a complicated illness and have a range of symptoms, that why it is complicated to diagnose. Only a board certified psychiatrist can diagnose you, not even your G.P or Therapist can tell you. You have to see a Psychiatrist to get a full diagnosis investigation to rule out other causes.

The chances are your first and maybe your second diagnosis will be wrong, sometimes is take people ten years to get the correct diagnosis, this is due to similar conditions that may cause symptoms and substance abuse which is common with Bipolar sufferers.

Why would my diagnosis be wrong they are professional?

It may be wrong because a Bipolar patient will usually seek treatment at one extreme of the illness (Mania or Depression), most likely depression because its symptoms sometimes consist of life threatening thought such as suicidal tendencies or attempts. This leads to the patient being diagnosed with Depression.

Mania being the cause of seeking treatment due to bizarre behaviour such as taking unnecessary risk and excessive spending or psychotic symptoms such as delusions and paranoia: this usually leads to a correct first time diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder, most likely Bipolar 1.

While on the other hand ‘Hypomania’ is somewhat enjoyable and does not arouse tendencies to seek treatment.

How to tell the difference between a moody person and a bipolar person

1. Moody person mood swings is usually brought on by stress or substance abuse. A Bipolar person mood swing may occur for no apparent reason.

2. A Bipolar mood swing will be deemed as ‘abnormal’ a person may ask “are you okay”. A moody individual will more likely be told “stop being so moody” or “are you on your period”

3. A Bipolar mood swing will last much longer e.g. weeks or months and on the other hand a moody person mood swing will last hours or a day at most.

4. The easiest way to tell the difference is to go see a Psychiatrist

Other illness closely related

· Anxiety Disorder

· Borderline Personality Disorder

· Attention Deficit Disorder

· Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

In some cases a person may have two or more of the related illnesses.

Do you know anyone with Bipolar Disorder?

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