Mania and Depression in Bipolar Disorder

Doctor Ellen Leibenluft discusses the key features of bipolar disorder. which is characterized by periods of mania/over-activity, and periods of depression.

Bipolar disorder is characterized by periods of time or episodes when people are manic and periods of time or episodes when they are depressed. When people are manic they tend to be extremely happy, over the top unusually happy, or they can also be very irritable. At the same time that they have this change in mood they also have a change in their activity level and their thinking. So, for example their thoughts race and go very fast, they talk very rapidly, they need much more sleep than usual. Importantly they tend to do very impulsive things and have bad judgment. So, for example, spending a lot of money they don’t have, perhaps sexual indiscretions, so that’s what characterizes the manic side of the illness. [On] the depressed side of the illness people feel very, very sad. They may find it difficult to get out of bed, they are not motivated [and] they don’t enjoy anything. They also can have changes in their sleep, either as I mentioned not being able to get out of bed or sometimes the reverse, not being able to sleep. They can also have changes in their appetite, either eating too much or eating too little. They also can become quite suicidal of course when they are depressed and have a great deal of difficulty concentrating.

bipolar, disorder, symptoms, mania, depression, cycles, mood, sleep, ellen, leibenluft

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