Bipolar Disorder

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness in which patients experience periods of mania followed by episodes of depression. Formally known as manic depression. The disorder is one of the least understood and most stigmatized mental illnesses today.

During manic episodes, patients feel “on top of the world” and have plenty of energy. They may not require much sleep and have an increased amount of goal-directed behaviors. While this may seem great initially, the mania can cause patients to engage in risky behaviors such as shopping sprees, feeling invincible, substance use or even self-harm. The depressive episodes present with low energy levels and feelings of hopelessness.

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Patients may feel unable to get out of bed, diminished interest in activities once enjoyed, emotional distress, sadness, anxiety, irritability, and isolation periods. In some cases, depressive episodes cause suicidal thoughts. Symptoms can last days to weeks and require a thorough evaluation and medication management with mood stabilizers for best results and remission of symptoms.

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