Bipolar Disorder (also known as Bipolar Affective Disorder) is a condition in which individuals suffer from extreme shifts in mood, leading to periodic episodes of depression and mania which can have a detrimental effect on their ability to conduct and cope with everyday life.
During an episode of depression, sufferers are known to experience overwhelming feelings of worthlessness and lethargy, potentially leading to instances of self-harm or thoughts of suicide.
During episodes of mania, individuals may feel superficially happy and energized, however, these periods often coincide with a lack of inhibition, an inability to rest or sleep, and occasionally the manifestation of certain symptoms of psychosis (such as seeing/hearing things that are not there).
Also known as manic depression, this is a mood disorder in which the person’s mood swings from euphoric, manic stages to depressed (from one “pole” to the other). This is not simply being happy and then sad, but rather periods of uncontrollable, clinical mania and longer periods of depression. Although there are many different perspectives about the basis of bipolar disorder, the most popular view is that it is caused by a chemical imbalance. During periods of mania, the person may become incoherent, become irrational, hyperactive, unrealistic about themselves and others, and act in sexually, socially, and physically unhealthy ways (sleeping with many people, going on shopping sprees which they can’t possibly afford, etc.).