Everyone experiences different moods, but a person with bipolar disorder experiences extreme mood swings from manic feelings of elation, high energy and hyperactivity to dark and low moods, lethargy and depression.
People suffering from bipolar disorder have fluctuating mood states that last weeks or even months. They may well experience long periods of depression, or indeed times when they are extremely happy or become very overactive. They may also develop delusional ideas about themselves and their strengths.
It is not the usual emotional ups and downs that most of us experience. Instead, the mood swings experienced by people with bipolar disorder usually last several weeks or months and are far more extreme than those lived by the majority of the population.
People that are bipolar usually develop symptoms or experience their first “episode” between the ages of 15-25.
Unfortunately, no clear cause has been identified.
Research into this area suggests that people are more at risk from developing bipolar disorder if a person has:
Psychiatrists usually diagnose bipolar and can help with medications.
Mood-stabilising drugs are the main type of medication used to treat the mood swings experienced by people with bipolar.
Psychologists can be very helpful in helping support people with bipolar in either depressive episodes or between episodes. They can help them:
If you feel you may be suffering bipolar disorder, speak to one of our psychiatrists, psychologists or psychotherapists and they will help get you the support you need.
Bipolar UK helps inform and advocate for people with a bipolar disorder.
NHS advice about ways that people with bipolar disorder can manage their condition long-term.