Bipolar and Narcissism: What’s the Connection

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder (manic depression) is a mental illness characterized by depressed mood or mania with alternating episodes of elevated energy and low energy. It affects approximately 1% of the population. People suffering from bipolar disorder may experience periods of extreme happiness and sadness, have intense thoughts, feelings, behaviors and ideas without being able to control them. They are often irritable, aggressive, impulsive and lack impulse control.

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

The most common symptom of bipolar disorder is depressive moods lasting days to weeks at a time. Other symptoms include:

Rapid cycling between periods of depression and mania, which can last for months or even years. The depressed phases usually occur less frequently than the manic phases.

However, they do happen and may continue into adulthood. Some people with bipolar disorder will go through several cycles in their lifetime; others only one cycle per decade.

Depressed moods that last days to weeks at a time. These moods are not always followed by a period of euphoria.

Sometimes these moods last for many hours or even all day long. The person may feel tired, sad, hopeless and worthless.

Impulsiveness and risky behavior such as spending money recklessly, taking drugs or having unprotected sexual relations without any concern for consequences.

Unusual bouts of creativity or productivity in which a person channels ideas, thoughts and feelings into a project for a certain period of time.

Feeling overly irritated or annoyed with people and taking it out on them.

Insomnia or sleeping more than usual.

Racing thoughts that are difficult to focus on one particular thought. May feel as if the mind is coming out of the ears.

Feeling agitated, restless and has trouble sitting or lying down.

Reckless behavior without thinking of consequences.

Thinking that people are out to get them or perceive something bad will happen.

Inappropriate laughter or being overly happy without a reason to be.

Feeling overly confident without a reason to be. May lead to over-spending and taking unnecessary risks.

Dependency on drugs, alcohol or cigarettes.

Feeling like running or doing any activity that would keep you physically active for long periods of time.

Diagnosing Bipolar Disorder

A mental health professional or doctor may diagnose Bipolar I or Bipolar II if a person experiences at least one manic episode and one depressive episode. The episode must last at least seven days to be diagnosed.

A person may also have been going through long periods of depression and mania for at least two years, but never had a full manic or depressive episode in which it affected their ability to function in their day-to-day lives.

There are several other types of mood disorders that are similar to Bipolar Disorder. Here are a few of them:

During a period of depression, the person is not interested in most activities, feels sad or empty and has problems with concentration.

During a period of hypomania, the person is unable to channel their energy into anything productive. They cannot focus on one particular thought and have racing thoughts.

During a period of psychosis, the person experiences delusions or hallucinations.

Treating Bipolar Disorder

A combination of medicine and psychotherapy can help treat bipolar disorder. However, if the person is not properly diagnosed and treated, their mood shifts can cause irreversible damage to their life.

Antidepressants and mood stabilizers can help bring a person out of a depressive or manic episode. The doctor will also provide the patient with therapy to help them deal with stressful situations.

It is very important for the person to communicate with their doctor about all of the stressors in their life. The treatment and success of the patient relies heavily on how well they follow the doctor’s orders.

Unfortunately, Bipolar Disorder cannot be cured. However, with proper treatment, a person can manage their symptoms and lead a regular life.

Overcoming Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a serious condition that causes mood swings. It can also lead to risky behavior and cause irreversible damage if not treated properly.

The good news is that it can be managed with proper treatment. It may not be curable, but it can be beaten by anyone who is determined enough.

If you think you or a loved one is suffering from Bipolar Disorder, please seek professional help right away for the sake of your own life.

Also, it is very important that you keep a positive attitude. Even when you are undergoing treatment, there will be times when you or the person you love is going to feel down.

It is during these times when you can help them the most by being an inspiration and showing them that no matter what life throws at you, it will never defeat you.

It is possible to lead a normal and happy life even with Bipolar Disorder. All it takes is a positive attitude and determination.

You are not alone. Please get the help you need and never give up!

Living well with bipolar

The final step is to live well with bipolar. This means you have accepted and embraced your condition.

You are able to deal with it in a positive manner and can live your life, knowing that despite everything, you will overcome anything that is thrown at you.

Other pages of interest

Self harm help – Help for self harming behaviors.

Types of suicide – Different types of suicide and attempted suicide.

Teen depression help – Step by step guide to help you out of a depression.

Teen anxiety help – Information and strategies to deal with your anxiety.

substance abuse – Information and ways to avoid substance abuse.

Anxiety disorders

Depression

Bipolar disorder help

Return from Bipolar Disorder Help to Recovery Girl

Return from Bipolar Disorder Help to Mental Health and Addiction Help Homepage

Sources & references used in this article:

Comorbidity in bipolar disorder by D Sagman, M Tohen – Psychiatr Times, 2009 – depressionforums.org

Does online social media lead to social connection or social disconnection? by JM Twenge – Journal of College and Character, 2013 – naspa.tandfonline.com

Measures of the narcissistic personality: Complexity of relationships with self-esteem and empathy by PJ Watson, T Little, SM Sawrie… – Journal of Personality …, 1992 – Guilford Press