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11 Warning Signs of Bipolar Disorder

Diagnostic delays of 10 to 15 years are common among people with bipolar disorder, research shows. Here’s what two people with the condition have to say about experiences that, in hindsight, they realized were signs and symptoms of their bipolar disorder.

It took four years for Carrie Cantwell to cry about her father’s suicide. When she started, she couldn’t stop.

“I felt like I was suffocating in molasses, stuck in darkness,” says Cantwell.

She sunk into a depression that lasted three months, and the episode eventually led to a suicide attempt of her own. It was that event that finally led her doctors to diagnose her with bipolar disorder — a mental health condition in which someone’s mood alternates between periods of extreme highs (mania) and deep lows (depression).

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