What is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder used to be known as manic depression, and is characterised by periods of extreme depression and mania. Depression is when you feel very low, and mania is when you feel very high.
How common is Bipolar Disorder?
Around one in 100 people are diagnosed with the condition, and it can occur at any age and in any sex. Bipolar disorder often develops between the ages of 18 and 24.
What are the symptoms of Bipolar Disorder?
Periods of depression are characterised by feeling sad, lacking energy, difficulty concentrating, a loss of interest in life, feelings worthlessness and guilt, self-doubt, being delusional, lack of appetite and suicidal thoughts.
Periods of mania usually follow two to four episodes of depression, and are characterised by feelings of euphoria, being full of energy and self-importance, having important plans, talking very quickly, being easily distracted and irritated, being delusional, and doing pleasurable things with negative consequences.
How is Bipolar Disorder treated?
With effective treatment, bipolar episodes usually improve within about three months. Treatment can include medicines to prevent episodes, called mood stabilisers, medicines to treat the symptoms of mania and depression and learning to recognise the symptoms and triggers.
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