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Old July 24th, 2009, 04:04 AM   #1
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Name: Steph
Join Date: January 15, 2008
Location: Oregon
Age: 30
Gender: Female
Blog Entries: 6
Default Hormones vs. Bipolar Disorder

As a teenager, your body is going through many changes. One of the most confusing things about these changes are hormones and how they influence your day to day activity. Hormonal imbalances can often lead some to believe that a lot of what they are going through is not normal for a teenager when, in fact, it's a lot more normal than you think. Of those that believe that it's a bigger problem, some may tend to think that they may have Bipolar Disorder. Often though, this is not the case. Bipolar Disorder is the most commonly misdiagnosed of mental illnesses. This thread is to help you differentiate the differences between teenage hormonal imbalance and the chemical imbalances of Bipolar Disorder.

Though the two seem to have a lot of the same symptomology, they are quite different. Let's first take a look at the symptoms, both mental and physical, of the two. It may be wise to make a checklist and check off the symptoms that you are having, just to see where you place.

Some Common and Uncommon Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance

~ Abdominal bloating
~ Abdominal cramping
~ Accident proneness or Coordination difficulties
~ Acne and/or hives
~ Aggression or Rage
~ Anxiety, irritability, or suicidal thoughts
~ Asthma
~ Back pain
~ Breast swelling and pain
~ Bruising
~ Confusion
~ Depression, withdrawal from others, emotional liability
~ Emotional instability
~ Exacerbation of preexisting conditions such as: lupus, arthritis, ulcers, herpes etc.
~ Excessive sleep patterns, fatigue, lethargy
~ Fainting
~ Food binges, salt cravings, sweet cravings
~ Headaches or Migraines
~ Heart palpitations
~ Insomnia
~ Joint swelling and pain
~ Nausea
~ Seizures
~ Sex drive changes
~ Sinus problems
~ Sore throat
~ Urinary difficulties

One must keep in mind that when going through puberty, hormones can alter the way that we would 'normally' think, act and function. Emotional instability is most likely checked off on your list. This is very common for all teenagers to go through with hormones changing your body. Emotional instability does not mean that you have Bipolar Disorder right off of the bat. Let's now list the effects of Bipolar Disorder for both Depressive and Manic episodes. These are symptoms of juvenile Bipolar Disorder, as to not confuse yourself with adult symptoms. Again, make a check list.

Symptoms Of A Depressive Episode

~ Lack of joy and pleasure in life
~ Withdrawal from activities formerly enjoyed
~ Agitation and irritability
~ Pervasive sadness and/or crying spells
~ Sleeping too much or inability to sleep
~ Drop in grades or inability to concentrate
~ Thoughts of death or suicide
~ Fatigue or loss of energy
~ Feelings of worthlessness
~ Significant weight loss, weight gain or change in appetite
~ Self-Mutilating behavior

Symptoms Of A Manic Episode

~ Euphoria (elevated mood)- silliness or elation that is inappropriate
~ Irregularly high self-esteem
~ Flight of ideas or racing thoughts
~ More talkative then usual or pressure to keep talking
~ Irritability or hostility when demands are not met
~ Excessive distractibility
~ Decreased need for sleep without daytime fatigue
~ Excessive involvement in pleasuravle but risky activities (ie. daredevil acts and hypersexuality)
~ Poor judgement
~ Hallucinations or psychosis

Other Symptoms May Include

~ Unexplained Anxiety
~ Unexplained Paranoia
~ Learning Disabilities
~ Obsessive Behavior
~ Poor Short-Term Memory
~ Manipulative Behavior

When experiencing untreated Bipolar Disorder, your mood may rapidly shift without you even realizing it, whereas with hormonal imbalance, you will notice a gradual shift in your moods over time. With hormonal imbalance, you have more physical symptoms, and with Bipolar Disorder, it's predominately psychological symptoms. Also, with hormonal imbalance, outside influences can and will effect your mood, simple things such as sleep, diet and exercise or a lack of vitamins and other dietary supplements that keep the body and mind healthy. With Bipolar Disorder, it's often unexplainable why you have rapid mood shifts.

As far as high and low self esteem go, there are some differences between the two with hormonal imbalance and Bipolar Disorder. With hormonal imbalance, it will tend to be you judging yourself by your peers and/or society's standards of what you should be like. With Bipolar Disorder, is stems from often irrational thoughts about the self backed with no reputable evidence, it simply is just your thoughts that effect your self esteem with little to no outside triggers.


This is NOT for diagnostic purposes. It is to help you differentiate between hormonal imbalance and Bipolar Disorder. DO NOT try to self-diagnose yourself. If you still think that you may have Bipolar Disorder, I strongly encourage you to talk with your parents about your concerns and get into contact with your general physician or a psychiatrist. Professional help is the best help.

If you still have any questions and need more help differentiating between hormonal imbalance and Bipolar Disorder, you can use any of the following sources in which I used myself in making this page.


Self- Zephyr
Overcoming Bipolar Disorder: A Comprehensive Workbook For Managing Your Symptoms & Acheiving Your Life Goals

So if you care to find me, look to the western sky.
As someone told me lately, everyone deserves a chance to fly.

✯ Alis Volat Propriis ✯

Last edited by Zephyr; December 4th, 2010 at 09:22 PM.
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