Bipolar Disorder


Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression).

Although bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition, you can manage your mood swings and other symptoms by following a treatment plan. In most cases, bipolar disorder is treated with medications and psychological counseling (psychotherapy).​

Men and women of all ages, races and economic levels can have bipolar disorder.  Bipolar disorder can also occur in children and teenagers.   

A number of factors can put people at risk for bipolar disorder such as: 

  • Having blood relatives such as a parent or sibling with bipolar disorder 
  • Periods of high stress 
  • Drug and alcohol abuse 
  • Major life changes, such as a death of a loved one. 

Symptoms of bipolar disorder 

The exact symptoms of bipolar disorder vary from person to person.  For some people, Depression causes the most problems.  For others, maniac symptoms are the main concern.  Symptoms of Depression and of Mania or Hypomania may also occur together.  This is known as a mixed episode. 

Signs and symptoms of manic or hypomanic phase of bipolar disorder include:

  • Euphoria 
  • Extreme optimism 
  • Inflated self-esteem 
  • Poor judgement 
  • Rapid speech 
  • Racing thoughts ​​
  • Aggressive behaviour, agitation or irritation 
  • Increased physical activity 
  • Risky behaviour 
  • Spending sprees or unwise financial choices 
  • Increase drive to perform or achieve goals 
  • Decreased need for sleep 
  • Inability to concentrate delusions or a break from reality.         

Remember that Mental Disorders need to be diagnosed by a health care professional. 

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