Are you supporting a family member or friend with bipolar disorder?
This can be a stressful, overwhelming and isolating experience.
Here is some more information to help you understand what your loved one is going through and how to help yourself.
In the past, bipolar disorder has been referred to as ‘manic depression’. The condition is now known as ‘bipolar disorder’, as this term more accurately describes the cycling of moods that is experienced by the person between the two poles of ‘high’ or elevated mood and ‘low’ or depressed mood.
The elevated mood is also referred to as mania, a period of elevated, expansive or irritable mood, high energy levels and inappropriate behaviours, which have the potential to cause significant problems in relationships and/or in the person’s workplace.
Clinicians differentiate between bipolar I disorder and bipolar II disorder; bipolar I is more severe than bipolar II.
A person with bipolar I will have extreme manic states, their behaviour quickly escalates and their mania is likely to require hospitalisation.
Bipolar II is considered more common; their manic symptoms are less severe and cause less impairment for the individual. In bipolar II these episodes are referred to as hypomania.
A manic episode can include the following symptoms:
In a depressive state the person with bipolar will experience the opposite of mania:
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HelpingMinds respectfully acknowledge that we work on Aboriginal land and pay our respects to community members and elders, past and present. Individuals pictured are models and are used for illustrative purposes only.