Bipolar disorder

Description

Bipolar disorder, or manic depression, is a mood disorder. People with bipolar disorder have mood swings from very high to very low.

Causes

The cause is not clear. Your family history may have something to do with it.

Signs & Symptoms

In the high phase you may:

  • have huge amounts of energy
  • need little sleep
  • think and talk faster than usual
  • find your thoughts jump rapidly from one subject to another
  • have delusions about your abilities and powers
  • lose good judgement.

People in the high phase can get themselves into trouble by leaving their jobs, spending money they do not have, giving away their possessions or other impulsive deeds.

In a low phase you:

  • feel hopeless, despairing and lethargic
  • become full of self-blame and self-doubt
  • have difficulty concentrating
  • want to withdraw from friends and social contact
  • may feel suicidal.

Prevention

There is no known way to prevent bipolar disorder.

Treatment

Bipolar disorder is treated with a combination of medicine and cognitive behavioural therapy or counselling.

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