Bipolar disorder is a chronic mental health condition that causes periods of depression and abnormally elevated moods. Bipolar Disorder is also referred to as Manic Depression. The elevated mood is known as manic or hypomanic which involves extremely high mood, high activity or agitation, inability to sleep, poor appetite, risky behaviours, impulsivity etc. During a depressed phase, symptoms include feelings of sadness and hopelessness, the risk of suicide and self-harm, fatigue, loss of interest in normal activities, negative outlook on life etc. There are two types of Bipolar Disorders, type I and type II.
Type I is the more severe one because people experience more of the Mania or “highs” than “lows” and are more likely to be hospitalised. Mania can lead to delusions and/or hallucinations. Type II is considered less severe because there are no “highs” and fewer psychotic features.
Treatment consists of medications such as mood stabilizers and psychotherapy to assist with controlling the symptoms of the disorder.