Bipolar Disorder

A medical condition that causes a person to have extreme mood swings as they cycle through periods of depression and elevated mood. There are typically three stages: 

  1. A high state of mania, 
  2. A low state of depression, and
  3. A well state where people feel normal and function well. 

During phases of mania people may experience a decreased need for sleep, racing thoughts, exaggerated self-esteem, and excessive energy for activities among other symptoms. During phases of depression people may experience loss of interest or pleasure in activities that used to be enjoyable, weight loss or gain, loss of energy, and inability to concentrate among other symptoms. People may also experience mixed episodes of manic and depressive symptoms at the same time. Mania can be decribed as periods of great excitement or euphoria, delusions, and overactivity. Mania may also trigger a break from reality (psychosis) and require hospitalization.

Mania Symptoms include

  • Abnormally upbeat, jumpy or wired
  • Increased activity, energy or agitation
  • Exaggerated sense of well-being and self-confidence (euphoria)
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Unusual talkativeness
  • Racing thoughts
  • Distractibility
  • Poor decision-making — for example, going on buying sprees, taking sexual risks or making foolish investments

Further readings and resources
CAMH: Bipolar disorder overview
CMHA: How to help a love one
APA: Types of bipolar disorder
Healthline: Types of treatment