Mark Hillman, Ph.D., (PSY) LMHC My Therapist is Making Me Nuts!Written by Mark Hillman

Take Me Away
From Troubled Times

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder is a disorder that causes unpredictable mood swings. People who are bipolar go from an emotional high (known as mania) to a low (known as depression). The disease cycles between these highs and lows. This can seriously affect a person's relationships with family and friends, and lead to problems with education or work.

During the manicky phase of this disorder, the patient may show excessive, unwarranted excitement or silliness,carrying jokes too far. They may also show poor judgment and recklessness and may be argumentative. Manics may speak rapidly, have unrealistic ideas, and jump from subject to subject. They may not be able to sleep or sit still for very long. These symptoms are predominant for a specific period of time lasting for a few days or even a few months.

The other side of the bipolar coin is the depressive episode. Bipolar depressed patients often sleep more than usual and are lethargic. This contrasts with those with major depression, who usually have trouble sleeping and are agitated. During bipolar depressive episodes, a patient may also show irritability and withdrawal.


MANIA - A person in this phase of BD may:

  1. Have a continually elevated, expansive, or irritable mood
  2. Have an inflated self-esteem
  3. Feel very important (grandiose) or conceited
  4. Need little or no sleep
  5. Speak very fast
  6. Have racing thoughts or ideas
  7. Be easily distracted
  8. Be very agitated or nervous
  9. Engage in impulsive activities such as a spending spree, without thinking about the consequences

DEPRESSION - A person in this phase of BD may:

  1. Feel down
  2. Have weight changes
  3. Have difficulty sleeping
  4. Not have any energy or may feel very tired
  5. Move very slowly
  6. Feel agitated or nervous
  7. Feel worthless
  8. Have difficulty concentrating or paying attention
  9. Not have an interest in hobbies, job, or the activities of life
  10. Feel like ending his life (suicide)

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