Early Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar symptoms of elation and irritability may show risk for full mania

August 6, 2012 / Author:  / Reviewed by: Robert Carlson, M.D

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(dailyRx News) Bipolar mania has many symptoms, like feeling high or excited. People may have symptoms of mania without having bipolar, and some symptoms may put them at risk for bipolar disorder.

Recent research found that people that had elation or irritability symptoms but not bipolar disorder were more than two times more likely to develop bipolar disorder three years later.

Some people in the study said they had elation, irritability or both but did not have enough symptoms to get a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. These symptoms may be an early warning sign.

"Talk to your doctor about unusual feelings."

The study, led by Gregory Homish, PhD, University of Buffalo in New York, looked at a group of 40,512 people to see how many people had symptoms of bipolar disorder and how many had a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

Elation is the term used to describe feeling high and excited, and irritability is the feeling of being easily bothered or angered. Both of these symptoms are part of mania, but having these symptoms does not mean that a person has mania.

Three years later, the researchers looked to see how many people who had these symptoms had gone on to get a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

They found that the people who had one these symptoms, either elation or irritability, were almost three times more likely to develop mania.

People who had both elation and irritability at the start of the study were about four and half times more likely to develop mania.

The authors concluded that symptoms of elation and irritability may be early signs of risk for mania. Close follow-up of patients with these symptoms may help catch bipolar disorder as it develops, which may lead to better treatment for patients.

The researchers wrote that more research is needed to understand how all the symptoms of bipolar may appear and lead to a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

This study was published July 27 in the Journal of Affective Disorders. Conflict of interest information was not available.
 

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Review Date: 
August 4, 2012
Last Updated:
August 6, 2012