Do you feel very happy and energized some days, and very sad and depressed on other days? Do these moods last for a week or more? Do your mood changes make it hard to sleep, stay focused, or go to work? Some people with these symptoms have bipolar disorder, a serious mental illness. This brochure will give you more information.
Bipolar disorder is a serious brain illness. It is also called manic-depressive illness or manic depression. People with bipolar disorder go through unusual mood changes. Sometimes they feel very happy and “up,” and are much more energetic and active than usual. This is called a manic episode. Sometimes people with bipolar disorder feel very sad and “down,” have low energy, and are much less active. This is called depression or a depressive episode.
Bipolar disorder is not the same as the normal ups and downs everyone goes through. The mood swings are more extreme than that and are accompanied by changes in sleep, energy level, and the ability to think clearly. Bipolar symptoms are so strong that they can damage relationships and make it hard to go to school or keep a job. They can also be dangerous. Some people with bipolar disorder try to hurt themselves or attempt suicide.
People with bipolar disorder can get treatment. With help, they can get better and lead successful lives.
Anyone can develop bipolar disorder. It often starts in a person’s late teen or early adult years. But children and older adults can have bipolar disorder too. The illness usually lasts a lifetime.
A publication from the National Institute of Mental HealthDownload