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  1. #1

    Examples of typical bipolar disorder behavior?

    I was wondering if anyone could give me a good amount of scenarios and examples of how someone who has bipolar disorder typically acts. I guess it would depend on the level of bipolar the person is suffering from though. I've always wondered if my mother is seriously ill, but nothing was ever done to find out when I was still living at home and it was a huge struggle to live with her, I was psychologically and emotionally abused by her throughout childhood. If my dad had tried to take her to see a psychiatrist she would have completely lost out, but she did that every day anyway. I know there's something wrong and I am determined to get to the bottom of it. Because whatever it is, it didn't start with her - I found a letter from my uncle to her explaining how he believes their family was screwed up while they were children - and my mother supposedly disagreed, but she's very messed up now. The closest disorder that resembles her symptoms, from my surfing the web and looking at mental disorders, is bipolar. Does anyone here have a family member, particularly one of their parents who suffered from this illnes while they were growing up? Or is someone living under the roof of a parent struggling with this now? I have got to find out what the problem is, because I'm so afraid of this cycle continuing in my family and I want to put an end to it. I don't want anyone else to suffer the way I did.

    If you know anything about the typical symptoms in those suffering from bipolar disorder, please let me know, thanks.

  2. #2

    examples of typical bipolar disorder behavior?

    There is a link to a guide on Bipolar Disorder here at You'll need to download the free Acrobat Reader if you don't already have it.

    But apart from that, the specific symptoms of Bipolar Disorder (there are actually three versions, if you include cylothymic disorder) may vary from one individual to another. What is it you are seeing in your mother's behavior that makes you wonder?

  3. #3

    examples of typical bipolar disorder behavior?

    She's usually one of two extremes (at least when I was living at home she was). Extremely happy and bursting with excitement to the point that it's too much (she could talk to a pole for an hour at these times) or screaming at the top of her lungs (no exaggeration) when the slightest thing goes her flower arrangement is moved from the table to the counter, or her radio is set on a different station than she had it on, etc - she flips out in normal situations in a way that others would only when someone's threatening to throw something heavy at them. She also has times where she stays in her room in the dark and cries. It seems like she's more together since I left the house, at least from the outside looking in it appears that way when I go home. But I don't know. She has a middle ground too. I guess I should ask my dad if she's improving or if it's just an act when I'm there, since she never sees me any more. She always appears to be the perfect mother in front of guests.

    She's pretty obsessive compulsive when it comes to cleaning the house - especially sweeping or keeping no dishes in the kitchen sink. She has terrible perception when it comes to others and understanding the way that people normally react to things. She never wants to hear anything anyone has to say in an argument because she's right no matter what and it's pointless to try to argue with her because she will scream so loud and interrupt so much that you'll never get a word in. She was physically abused in her first marriage and I didn't even know she was married before my dad until she "admitted" this when I was a senior in highschool. She seriously told me not to be mad at her. Now she's married to my dad, and I don't know how he does but I admire him more than anyone else on earth for being able to. She treats him as bad as she treats me, but for some reason my brother gets by more.

    When I was living at home, she would occasionally buy me something and then would use it against me the next time she wanted to make me feel guilty (which was around every three days), by saying something like "All I'm good for to you is money" and "you don't deserve anything I give you, ungrateful brat". All this when I didn't even ask for what she gave me. I learned I didn't want anything she could buy me. It was interesting that I was a "terrible kid" at home, but everyone else's parents wanted to adopt me b/c I was that respectful. I spent most of my childhood grounded in my room. Some times she would ground me for three weeks for coming in one minute late - crazy things like that. She compared me to my older brother constantly and he wasn't grounded nearly as much as I was, yet did just as much and maybe more. Sometimes I got blaimed for things he did and he wouldn't say anything usually. She disliked any friend I made when I wasn't grounded. She would get mad at me whenever I got a cold and say it had to be my fault. I was absolutely terrified of her as a child and would avoid being in the same room with her at all costs. She was a walking time bomb, and anything I could say or do would set her off.

    I've always thought her brain seems really overactive because you can ask her a simple question and she'll get this really alert look on her face and her eyes will dart around like it's a tremendous question. Everything's a huge deal, but if it has anything to do with me saying she's hurting me she will laugh in my face like it's nothing. I don't know about now, but she used to have trouble sleeping. She would wake up sometimes and not be able to go back to sleep. Any little noise would wake her up.

    She's not too observant of what's going on around her sometimes and it can be scary. Last time she came to visit me at school, we were going to a restaurant to eat dinner and we were waiting at a stoplight. We were going to turn left. Well, she turned left, but didn't go far enough over...she turned left onto the road right in front of us, moving rightward. Luckily we were in a small, slow town, but that's pretty bad. The only excuse I can give her is that she doesn't know her way around that town, but it was pretty obvious where to turn. She doesn't normally do crazy things like that when driving, but sometimes she just doesn't pay attention to obvious things going on in front of her. It's pretty bad.

    I don't know what she has, but whatever it is, it's not good.

  4. #4

    examples of typical bipolar disorder behavior?

    As always, I must caution that one can't make an accurate diagnosis online without directly interviewing and observing the individual in question. Some of the behaviors you describe certainly do sound like bipolar disorder -- especially the periods of withdrawn depression alternating with periods of "hyperactivity" and irritability. Some of the other behaviors could be symptoms of a personality disorder as well -- this could coexist (as an Axis II diagnosis) with bipolar disorder (as the Axis I diagnosis).

    These aren't the only possible diagnoses, however.

  5. #5

    examples of typical bipolar disorder behavior?

    One other thing I found dad said she doesn't talk very much about her family life growing up - yet she always openly criticizes the way we do anything and compares it to the way she was raised, as being better.

  6. #6

    examples of typical bipolar disorder behavior?

    For what it's worth, my favorite book on bipolar disorder is An Unquiet Mind. There is an excerpt of the book at The most popular film featuring bipolar disorder is Mr. Jones.
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  7. #7

  8. #8

    Re: Examples of typical bipolar disorder behavior?

    I know this thread is way old but OMG rhssm's post sounds just like my mother!!!
    In the division of the source of everything (God), an endless unfathomable possibility of creation is taking place. The polarity of contrast defines all that is.



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