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Bipolar Disorder (Manic-Depression)

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that is characterized by extreme shifts in mood that range from very high to very low; people with this disorder have "manic" periods where they feel overly excited, happy, energized, and elated and then other periods where they feel extremely depressed, hopeless, and lethargic. These dramatic swings do not follow any kind of set pattern and are not necessarily connected to what's happening in the person's life. Someone might have several spells of depression before switching over to the pole of mania. Sometimes the mood swing from high to low and back again are dramatic and rapid but typically the switch is more gradual. These episodes can occur over a period of weeks, months, and sometimes even years. 

Both phases of bipolar disorder can be detrimental, affecting a person's thinking, judgment, and social behavior.


Symptoms of mania:

  • Excessive happiness, excitement, euphoria

  • Restlessness

  • Sudden shift from elation or extreme happiness to anger, irritability

  • Rapid speech; difficulty concentrating

  • An increase in energy; less need for sleep

  • unusually high sex drive

  • Plans that are excessive or unrealistic 

  • Poor judgment

  • Substance abuse

  • Impulsivity

Symptoms of depression:

  • Sadness

  • Lack of energy

  • Fellings of hopelessness

  • Not enjoying things previously enjoyed

  • Iriitability

  • Change in sleeping pattern

  • Change in eating habits

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Difficulty making decisions

  • Thoughts of death or suicide

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