Bipolar disorder affects approximately one to five percent of the population. It is a disorder characterized by unusual changes in mood, energy, and activity level. Individuals with bipolar disorder cycle between manias and depressions that are distinct from their baseline mood.
In periods of mania, individuals may experience the following symptoms:
- An extended period of feeling "high," or an overly happy or outgoing mood
- Extreme irritability
- Talking very fast
- Jumping from one idea to another (“racing thoughts”)
- Being easily distracted
- Increasing activities, such as taking on new projects
- Being overly restless
- Sleeping little or not being tired
- Having an unrealistic belief in one's abilities
- Behaving impulsively and/or engaging in pleasurable, high-risk behaviors
Bipolar disorder is generally treated with medication, often in combination with psychotherapy.
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