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Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression, is often first diagnosed as depression. 

People with bipolar disorder have periods or episodes of:

  • Depression – feeling very low and lethargic
  • Mania – feeling very high and overactive

These mood swings are extreme and can last for several weeks or longer. People with the disorder may experience periods of "normal" mood between these extreme episodes.

Because bipolar can be difficult to diagnose it may take a long time to get treatment, but there are some common signs that can help identify the illness.

During a period of depression, someone may experience

  • Feeling sad, hopeless or irritable most of the time
  • Difficulty concentrating and remembering things
  • Self-doubt
  • Loss of interest in everyday activities
  • Feeling worthless, low self-esteem
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Feeling pessimistic about everything
  • Poor sleep patterns
  • Suicidal thoughts

During a manic episode symptoms may include

  • Feeling full of energy, very happy, elated
  • Feeling full of great ideas and having important plans
  • Engaging in risky or dangerous behaviour
  • Being easily irritated or agitated
  • Having hallucinations and disturbed or illogical thinking
  • Not feeling like sleeping
  • Not eating
  • Excessive spending on expensive and often unaffordable items

Further information on bipolar disorder is available from Bipolar UKNHS Choices or the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

We cannot offer treatment options but if you would like to speak to us about options available, please complete our application form.