Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Girl

Bipolar disorder is characterized by unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out typical daily tasks. The shifts usually occur in “highs”, also known as mania, and “lows”, known as depression.

Manic symptoms include:

  • High levels of energy
  • Increased activity levels
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Fast talking while jumping through multiple topics
  • Irritability or agitation
  • Risky behavior

Depression symptoms include:

  • Feeling sad or empty
  • Little energy
  • Decreased activity levels
  • Trouble sleeping (too much or too little)
  • Feelings of worry
  • Trouble with concentration
  • Increased or decreased food intake
  • Thoughts about death or suicide

There are four types of bipolar disorder that each have different specifications: Bipolar I, manic episodes lasting for a minimum of 7 days and depressive episodes lasting a minimum of 2 weeks; Bipolar II, a pattern of depressive and hypomanic (not as intense as manic) episodes; Cyclothymic disorder, multiple periods of hypomanic and depressive symptoms lasting for at least 2 years. Treatment for bipolar disorder includes medications to control symptoms and episodes, with the addition of psychotherapy to provide support, education, and guidance to those with the disorders as well as their family members.

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