Bipolar Disorder


Bipolar Disorder

Most people with bipolar experience periods of depression and mania, but a smaller percentage of people experience only mania and others experience symptoms of mania and depression simultaneously.  Whereas some people with bipolar notice changes in their mood on a daily basis, others only experience mania or depression once every decade.

Mania is usually associated with either a “high”, euphoric feeling or intense irritability and agitation.  Other key symptoms of mania include:

– Racing thoughts
– Being easily distracted
– Talking non-stop (often over the top of other people)
– Needing less sleep
– Feeling energized (despite needing little sleep)
– Feeling highly important and more confident than usual
– “Reckless” or “risky” behaviour, like spending or gambling excessive amounts of money and promiscuous or aggressive behaviour

In some people mania is accompanied by psychotic symptoms like delusions and hallucinations.

The highs and lows of bipolar can impact an individual’s relationships, their occupational functioning, and their financial position.  Effective treatment (a combination of medication and psychological strategies) can help to reduce the severity of changes in mood and reduce the risk of relapse.