Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that can cause a sufferer to experience bouts of deep depression interspersed with periods of mania or hypomania. Changes between the two extreme moods can be greatly distressing to the sufferer and can interfere with daily life.
There is a misconception that every person with bipolar disorder experiences rapidly changing moods each day, but this is not always the case. In fact, only certain kinds of the illness (such as rapid cycling bipolar), involve quick and regular mood changes. Instead, most people with bipolar disorder are likely to suffer an elevated or depressed mood for weeks to months at a time. In some cases, a sufferer may go from one extreme mood state to the other, without experiencing any relative normalcy in between. In other cases people may maintain a ‘normal’ mood for a good while before swinging over to depression or mania. Mood patterns vary greatly from sufferer to sufferer.
Bipolar disorder is a serious and often dangerous condition that should be treated professionally and medically. Unfortunately, when a person is in a stage of mania they may not believe they are unwell. It is therefore important for both the sufferer and those around them to be aware of some of the basic aspects of bipolar disorder. This brochure will provide information for those wishing to learn more about it and will outline some of the symptoms. It will also highlight potential causes, current statistics and available treatments. If you do suspect that you have bipolar disorder then we would encourage you to speak to your GP or other medical professional as soon as possible.