Bipolar disorder affects around three million people in the U.S. alone and is usually diagnosed during adolescence. There are two types: Bipolar 1, where manic episodes are more common, and Bipolar 2, where depressive episodes are more common. Both manic and depressive symptoms can, however, flare up in both types of bipolar disorder, and pressured speech is a common symptom in those living with the disorder.
Manic episodes can include the following symptoms:
- Less desire for sleep
- Elevated mood
- Poor or decreased judgment
- Increased impulsivity
Depressive episodes can include the following symptoms:
- More desire for sleep
- Low mood
- Little to no motivation to complete regular, daily tasks
- Social withdrawal
- Feelings of helplessness
Pressured speech, a normal symptom during manic episodes, is more common in Bipolar 1, but it can surface in Bipolar 2, too. Pressured speech usually only occurs during manic episodes, whereas depressive episodes typically cause a person to withdraw and speak very little.
Is talking fast a sign of bipolar?
Fast talking, often referred to as pressured speech, is a sign of a manic episode in bipolar disorder. During manic, some people with bipolar disorder may experience the need to talk excessively at a fast pace.
Rapid speech can have underlying symptoms, which may include:
- Interrupting others in conversation
- Taking over conversations
- Fast-paced dialogue
- Frequently changing subjects while talking
- Talking for long periods of time
- Talking in a high volume
A person exhibiting rapid speech patterns may or may not realize what they are doing. Sometimes, the person or persons on the other side of the conversation may feel confused or offended by the end, especially if they could not contribute to the conversation. Pressured speech can affect the affected individual’s relationships, jobs, education and motivation to seek professional help.
Most treatment options for bipolar disorder involve both psychotherapy and medication, though some people opt for one or the other. A mental health professional will be able to determine the best treatment plan based on individual needs.
Talk therapy is one of the most common types of therapy mental health professionals use to treat bipolar disorder. During talk therapy, therapists help their clients to set goals for treatment, openly discuss their symptoms in a safe space and alter unhealthy behaviors and thought patterns. In some cases, medication can make the talk therapy process easier for patients. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a therapy technique many clinicians use in treatment.
Mental health professionals who can provide talk therapy include:
One of the key factors in therapy is finding a clinician that you feel comfortable talking with, as this is the foundation of successful therapy.
Medication is another treatment option. Those who can prescribe medication include:
- General practitioners
Different medications may work best for different clients. During the initial diagnostic process, you can discuss your medication options with your doctor. Let them know if you take any other medications and if you experience side effects during treatment. Common medications prescribed to bipolar patients include:
- Mood stabilizers like lithium
- Antipsychotics like aripiprazole (Abilify)
- Sleep- and/or anxiety-related medications
Bipolar disorder can make developing and maintaining relationships difficult. It is, however, important to seek out friends, colleagues and mentors with whom you feel comfortable discussing your condition. Pressured speech can make conversations difficult, but keeping your social circle aware can reduce relationship strain. Relationships can act as a critical healing source for all people, including those with bipolar disorder.
In severe cases, bipolar disorder can lead to suicidal ideation or attempts. If you or someone you know is exhibiting signs of a mental health condition, seek professional help immediately.
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or has attempted suicide, seek help or call the U.S. National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
Keep in mind that treatment is an available option, and it can provide healing to seemingly unsolvable, difficult situations related to bipolar disorder.