To the non-bipolar individual, the symptoms of both manic and depressive episodes can seem like self-absorption, selfishness and manipulative and demanding behavior. Bipolar individuals have a major internal struggle during both manic and depressive episodes, and the effects of the disorder can come off differently to others who do not understand the physical and psychological turmoil the individual is going through.
Manic episodes of bipolar disorder provide an individual with a surge of energy and heightened mood. These episodes are characterized with grandiose behavior, self-confidence, running thoughts, spastic speech, increased activity levels, over-aggressive behavior and hypersensitive emotions. Improved mood and energy levels can make bipolar individuals feel alive and re-energized, especially if they have recently experienced a depressive episode.
Self-absorption and self-centeredness may simply be individuals’ attempt to capitalize on their re-awakening. Many bipolar individuals wish to fix the problems in their life, take control or make positive changes. Because of this, bipolar individuals’ thoughts are usually preoccupied on achieving self-improvement, and this can come off as self-absorption. Racing flights of thought, an inability to focus and impulsivity can also make bipolar individuals appear self-absorbed or too busy to care about others’ thoughts, ideas and emotions.
Depressive episodes of mania can also be associated with self-absorption and self-centered behavior. Depression causes an individual to lose interest in everyday life and be numb to feelings of pleasure. Depression causes emotional despair, feelings of sadness and hopelessness and physical exhaustion and fatigue. Individuals with depression are unable to experience joy, and they often isolate themselves due to extreme feelings of sadness or tiredness. Depression can cause a person to avoid relationships, responsibilities, social encounters, activities, intimacy and work, and this can be falsely identified as self-absorbed behavior.
Can You Cure Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder is not a curable condition, but with the right treatment options, an individual can manage bipolar disorder and its symptoms and carry on living a normal life with minimal interference from the condition.
There are several treatment options for bipolar disorder, and what works for one individual will not necessarily work for the next. It will take some time and trial and error to find what treatment options are right for the individual and his or her lifestyle. Apart from medicinal options, bipolar disorder can be managed with simple lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, exercising and making time to relax, de-stress or get in touch with one’s spiritual side.
Because bipolar disorder is a chronic or lifelong condition, treatment options must be applicable to long-term utilization. The most successful treatment options are the ones that individuals can easily incorporate into their life and maintain for the long haul.
While medications may be appropriate for short-term periods or limited use, individuals cannot use mood stabilizers and other medications for long periods because they will develop a tolerance and dependence to the drug.
Combining medicinal treatment options with behavioral therapies, counseling, self-help groups, psychotherapies and skills training can be very effective. When a person finds the right treatment options, they can effectively manage the disorder and its symptoms.