Bipolar Disorder

By Ian S

What Is It?

Bipolar disorder is a condition in which a person has periods of depression and periods of being extremely happy or being cross and irritable.

Signs or Symptoms

Manic Signs and Symptoms

  • Racing speech or thoughts
  • Increased energy
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Elevated mood and exaggerated optimism
  • Poor judgement
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Inflated sense of importance

Depression Sings and Symptoms

  • Loss of interest in usual activities
  • Prolonged sad or irritable mood
  • Loss of energy or fatigue
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Sleeping too much or inability to sleep
  • Drop in grade and inability to concentrate
  • Inability to experience pleasure
  • Appetite loss or overeating
  • Anger, worry, and anxiety
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

How Does It Affect Someone?

The disorder can affect people and their behavior in many ways including:

  • Manic episodes (excessive excitement, energy, or enthusiasm)
  • Depressive episodes
  • Restlessness
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts
  • Talking very fast, jumping from one idea to another
  • Little to no sleep

Other Names Or Forms?

Bipolar disorder also goes by alternate names such as:

  • Manic depression
  • Manic-depressive illness/disorder
  • Bipolar mood/effective disorder

How is It Diagnosed?

Professional tests or evaluations usually aren't useful in diagnosing a person with bipolar disorder. To get an accurate diagnosis, people talk openly with their doctor about mood swings, behaviors, and lifestyle habits they have.

How is It Treated?

When doctors can diagnose the type of bipolar disorder a person has, they can treat them with:

Medicine (Mood Stabilizing)