What is Bipolar Disorder?
Everyone's mood can fluctuate on a daily basis from feeling in a good mood to bad. This can be due to a variety of reasons such as your sleeping schedule, not eating well, or something that happened throughout the day.
Bipolar disorder is a condition that causes extreme mood swings and changes someone's energy and behaviours. People with bipolar disorder will experience strong emotional states, which can range from a few days to a few weeks, which are called mood episodes.
What Causes Bipolar Disorder?
Like many other mental illnesses, the exact causes of bipolar disorder are unknown. However, it is believed to be the result of biological factors such as genetics inherited from a family member or chemical imbalances in the brain.
What Are The Signs & Symptoms?
A person in their manic phase may exhibit behaviours that make them seem happier, on a "high", impulsive, and aggressive.
Extremely good mood and energy
Racing thoughts and non-stop talking
Impulsive and poor judgement that include risky behaviours
Hallucinations or delusions
Extreme self-confidence and feeling unstoppable
Someone with hypomania will experience symptoms that are less severe than mania. A person may feel that they are in a good mood and have high energy, but also has the potential to fall into manic or depressive phases.
A person in their depressive phase will feel intense feelings of sadness and low energy.
Feeling depressed or losing interest in activities
Changes in weight and appetite
Unable to concentrate and difficulty making decisions
Feeling detached from reality, empty, and numb
Anger or irritability over small things
Social isolation and withdraw
What Can I Do To Help?
There are a variety of treatment options for someone with bipolar disorder but it often includes medication and therapy. Sometimes, medication may focus on a particular symptom of bipolar disorder such as depression, sleeping patterns, or mood regulation. Therapy often includes finding coping mechanisms and treating symptoms to reduce disruptions in a person's life.
It is always best to talk to your doctor about any concerns or questions you might have. This page should not be used as a resource to self-diagnose.