A disorder associated with episodes of mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs. Symptoms may include...

  • euphoria

intense happiness, irritability, full of energy, restlessness, easily annoyed, risk taking behavior, loss touch with reality our psychosis

  • emotional lows (depression) 

depression, guilt, hopelessness, slowness, apathy, disorganized speech or thoughts, self-harm, loss of interest in daily activities

And also trouble thinking clearly and/or making decisions, insomnia, aggression, skewed sex drive, low self-esteem or belief of superiority, 



bipolar I disorder. at least one manic episode (may have been preceded or followed by a hypomanic or major depressive episodes)

bipolar II disorder. at least one major depressive episode and at least one hypomanic episode but never had a manic episode

cyclothymic disorder. at least two years (or one year in childhood and adolescence) of many periods of hypomania symptoms and periods of depressive symptoms (less severe than major depression)



  • medication

    • mood stabilizers: help reduce mood swings and prevent mania and depression, assist in keeping mood swings from interfering with day-to-day life

    • second-generation antipsychotics to manage psychosis

    • antidepressants to cope with depressive episodes

  • psychotherapy / talk therapy

    • cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): patients learn how to identify and change destructive thoughts, improve emotion regulation, and develop coping strategies

    • interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (IPSRT): address interpersonal issues and maintain regular routines, such as a sleep schedule

    • family-focused therapy: distinguish between individual and his/her/their bipolar disorder, learn to recognize and cope with stressful life events, establish functional family relationships after a manic, hypomanic or depressive episode

    • psychoeducation: learn the nature and symptoms of bipolar disorder and differences in behavior depending on age

  • electroconvulsive therapy (ECT): brain stimulation for relief from severe symptoms of bipolar disorder

  • transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS): magnetic fields stimulate nerve cells in the brain to improve symptoms of depression



  • studies have shown that as many as 27% of people with autism also have symptoms of bipolar disorder

    • however: symptoms of insability in mood associated with autism may be confused with symptoms of mania in bipolar disorder and thus, bipolar disorder may be over-diagnosed in people with autism

  • mood disruptions, difficulty with interpersonal relationships, and negative self perception in complex post-traumatic stress disorder may be confused with symptoms of bipolar disorder

    • however: it is possible to experience both conditions and C-PTSD can exacerbate symptoms of bipolar disorder

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  1. know your warning signs

    1. keep a mood journal

    2. pay attention to changes in your body, thinking and feelings

  2. healthy lifestyle

    1. drink water & stay hydrated

    2. avoid alcohol, illegal drugs & smoking

    3. maintain a regular sleep schedule

    4. don’t have too much caffeine

  3. spend time with friends & family

  4. go outside and enjoy nature

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Misconception vs. Reality

  • Stigmas surrounding bipolar disorder arise because of misunderstanding and misinformation surrounding the condition

  • some common misconceptions are that people with bipolar disorder can control their mood swings, are seeking attention or manipulative, cannot be successful or are crazy and violent

  • instead: learn about the signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder from hospitals and national mental health organizations

  • consult and seek treatment from a healthcare professional

  • listen to the personal stories of others living with the condition and of their friends and family

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