Overview

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is one of the most common, severe, and persistent mental illnesses. Bipolar disorder is characterised by periods of deep, prolonged, and extreme depression that alternate with periods of an excessively elevated and/or irritable mood known as mania.

Symptoms

What are the signs of Bipolar Disorder?

The signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder are varied. Many of these symptoms can also be caused by other conditions, making this condition hard to diagnose. The signs of bipolar disorder can generally be divided into those for mania, and those for depression.

Feeling overly happy or “high” for long periods of time

Feeling overly happy or “high” for long periods of time

Having a decreased need for sleep

Having a decreased need for sleep

Talking very fast, often with racing thoughts

Talking very fast, often with racing thoughts

Feeling extremely restless or impulsive

Feeling extremely restless or impulsive

Being easily distracted

Being easily distracted

Feelings of overconfidence

Feelings of overconfidence

Engaging in risky behaviour

Engaging in risky behaviour

Feeling sad or hopeless for long periods

Feeling sad or hopeless for long periods

Withdrawing from friends and family

Withdrawing from friends and family

Losing interest in activities that you once enjoyed

Losing interest in activities that you once enjoyed

Significant change in appetite

Significant change in appetite

Severe fatigue or lack of energy

Severe fatigue or lack of energy

Problems with memory, concentration, and decision making

Problems with memory, concentration, and decision making

Suicidal thoughts/tendencies

Suicidal thoughts/tendencies

Causes

What are the causes of Bipolar Disorder?

The exact cause of bipolar disorder is unknown. Contributing factors may include:

Brain chemicals (neurotransmitters)

Brain chemicals (neurotransmitters)

Environmental factors

Environmental factors

physical illness

physical illness

Stress

Stress

Diagnosis

How do I know if I have Bipolar Disorder?

Diagnosing bipolar disorder can be challenging, involving screening through careful history-taking to identify risk factors, ruling out other causes for bipolar disorder, and the use of diagnostic surveys, usually performed by a psychologist or psychiatrist.

Find a Practitioner

See a list of practitioners who are specialised in treating Bipolar Disorder.