The Highs and Lows of Bipolar Disorder
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Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression, is not the easiest disorder to identify, in you or in other people. Part of the cause is that it involves mood swings between two extremities. The manic episodes can be energetic, free-wheeling and even catchy, if you’re a witness. The depressive episodes, on the other hand, can be characterized by large spaces of inactivity that can be difficult to understand or recount to.
If you’re a witness – a partner, family or friend, you might understandably be puzzled. If you’re suffering from bipolar disorder yourself, then it’s possibly even more puzzling.
Things that occur during the ‘manic phase’
You might find yourself not capable to sleep, unaccountably ‘high,’ talking very fast, getting tremendously restless. While the highs can be quite productive, you could also find that you’re getting simply distracted and do risky things on impulse. Safety is not a huge concern, during this time.
Things that occur during the ‘depression phase’
The depression phase is the other end of the spectrum – an extreme withdrawal. You start pass up people, finding yourself unwilling to communicate, feel hopeless, have a constant lack of energy or fatigue, not to mention a difficulty in concentrating or making decisions.
Both phases are difficult to discuss. The space between the manic and the depressive, and the ‘swings’ between the two, may vary from person to person. It depends on the severity of the disorder.
Regular therapy is absolutely a support for people who have bipolar disorder. It also helps to identify the phases, also for partners, family and friends. Being capable to identify changes in mood and their not being permanent help in dealing with the condition with more equanimity.