Bipolar disorder is a commonly misrepresented mental health problem. What do you know about this condition?

Bipolar disorder, which is also called manic-depressive illness, is a brain condition that is characterized by unusual and drastic changes in energy levels, mood and energy, which significantly affects the ability of people suffering from this condition to carry out everyday tasks.

Bipolar disorder is a chronic condition, but can be controlled through appropriate mental health treatment and therapy.

There are three major types of bipolar disorder: bipolar I disorder, bipolar II disorder and Cyclothymic disorder. Some people may also experience bipolar disorder symptoms that are not specific to any of the three types of the condition.

They are all characterized by changes in mood, with a depressive and a manic period. During the depressive state, people suffering from bipolar may be sad, hopeless and depressed. During the manic period, they may be characterized by excessive happiness, energy and a positive outlook.

What are the symptoms of bipolar disorder?

The disorder is characterised by two distinct mood types. People are usually either manic or depressive. They may experience intense emotion, as well as dramatic shifts in personality, energy levels and sleeping patterns.

People who may be experiencing a manic phase may feel elated. They are likely to have high energy levels, are willing to engage in more activities, can be described as jumpy and may have trouble sleeping.

They could also be more active than usual, spend more time awake and are more likely to be overwhelmed by their thoughts. They also try to do a lot of things at once, engage in increasingly risky activities, talk really quickly and have a noticeable increase in their irritability.

People who may be experiencing a depressive episode may feel very sad and have low energy levels. They are likely to engage in fewer activities and have trouble sleeping. They often spend little amounts of time sleeping, or spend too much time asleep.

They are often worried, and are unlikely to enjoy even things which they may have been marked as enjoying previously. They often have trouble concentrating and are generally forgetful. They may even lose an overall sense of time.

During the depressive state, people may be more likely to have erratic eating patterns. They could eat less than usual, or more than is enough. They regularly feel fatigued and may spend too much time contemplating death and suicide.

Some mood episodes may have both manic and depressive symptoms. Mixed feature episodes can be characterized by shared features from both the manic and depressive aspects of bipolar disorder. People can be both happy and lethargic, have erratic sleeping and eating patterns while having low activity levels and engaging…
 

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