Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder (formerly known as manic depression) can affect anyone. Around 1 in every 100 adults have bipolar disorder. It can occur at any age, although it often develops between the ages of 15 and 19. People with bipolar disorder have periods of depression and mania. Episodes of depression can show symptoms like feeling very low and lethargic, sometimes extreme and with psychosis. In contrast, episodes of mania can result in feeling very high and overactive. For example, mania may present as behaviours like overspending money and sleeping little. There is also a less severe mania, known as hypomania. Symptoms can depend on which mood you’re experiencing. Unlike simple mood swings, each extreme episode can last for several weeks (or even longer), and some people may not experience a stable mood very often. The pattern of mood swings varies widely between people. For example, some people will only have a handful of bipolar episodes in their lifetime and are stable in between while others may have many episodes, requiring hospital stays and long term psychiatric care. At The Eaves, we have specialist practitioners experienced in helping people with bipolar disorder.

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The word bipolar has two parts ‘bi’, meaning ‘two’ and ‘polar’ meaning ‘complete
opposite’. The term bipolar refers to the way your mood can change between two very
different states – mania and depression. In the past, people used to refer to bipolar
disorder as manic depression. You might still hear people use this older term today.

If you have an episode of depression you should be offered medication and a high
intensity talking therapy such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or interpersonal
therapy (that focuses on you and your relationships with other people)

It is so important to talk, to your therapist, to family and/or a support group. You can also
learn to manage your symptoms by looking after yourself. Selfcare us how you take care
of your diet, sleep, exercise, daily routine, relationships and how you are feeling.