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Did you know?...
Did you know.....
  • Bipolar depression used to be called manic depression
  • There are two main parts of bipolar depression:
    'Depression' where you feel so sad that for a long period of time you can't do the things you need to do and 'mania' where you brain races so fast that it's difficult to think things through properly
  • Bipolar depression is not 'feeling happy one day and sad the next' or 'having mood swings'
  • Bipolar depression is less common than depression.

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LonelyDoesn't everyone have ups and downs?

We all have moods that change from day to day. Some days we might feel full of energy and ready for anything and other days we might feel more tired and want to rest and have some quiet time. Bipolar depression is different from these normal changes

Bipolar depression used to be called manic depression. People with bipolar have times in their life when they feel very ‘high’ and times when they feel very ‘low’.

The ‘low’ periods of bipolar feel very like the experience of depression. People feel tearful, worthless and have difficulty enjoying the things that they normally that would normally cheer them up.

The ‘high’ periods of bipolar are different.

When someone is ‘high’ they will feel buzzing with energy and ideas.
They will feel very confident and will be convinced that everything will turn out well.
They will sleep much less and might eat much less too.
They will talk far more and find it more difficult to concentrate on just one thing.
It is like their brain has speeded up. This is what is called ‘mania’.

The longer the ‘high’ lasts the more likely it is that it will cause someone difficulties. When people with bipolar are ‘high’ they
tend to do more risky things because they feel that they are special or indestructible. They might spend money that they don’t have or do things that are more dangerous, like having unprotected sex or taking physical risks.

There are also in between states. Sometimes people experience a mild ‘high’ called hypomania where they have much more

energy, sleep less and feel that they can get much more done. Sometimes this can change into mania because the person doesn’t sleep or eat properly and doesn’t rest or take time to slow down. People with bipolar might also get what are called mixed states, where they feel depressed but also have lots of energy and are very restless. This can be very difficult for them to deal with.
People with bipolar can go for long periods without either being ‘high’ or ‘low’.

What causes Bipolar Disorder?
Like depression, bipolar is a mood disorder which means that it comes from a chemical imbalance. Like depression, genetics seem to have something to do with whether someone is more or less likely to develop it. Sometimes a major upsetting life change like the death of a parent seems to make bipolar happen.

Getting Help

Often people don’t recognise that they have bipolar and think that they only have depression. They might find it a relief to have more energy and feel more positive and find it difficult to see that they need help for the ‘high’ periods too.

People with bipolar can take on too many things, make risky decisions and fail to plan things properly and fall out with friends and family when they are ‘high’.

Bipolar is usually treated with a combination of medicines and talking therapies.

If you are experiencing highs and lows that you don’t feel you can control or have feelings that are different or frightening, you should talk to someone you trust and ask them to help.

Talk to Someone You should speak to someone that you trust if you feel like you might have symptoms of bi-polar. A trusted adult will be able to help you access the right advice and support.
Talk to a Doctor The Doctor is most people’s first point of contact with the NHS. Many patients visiting their GP are there for help with emotional difficulties, so the doctor will be used to listening to these types of problems. A doctor can suggest a range of treatments, depending on the nature of a person’s difficulties.