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A disorder associated with episodes of mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs.
The exact cause of bipolar disorder isn’t known, but a combination of genetics, environment and altered brain structure and chemistry may play a role.
Manic episodes may include symptoms such as high energy, reduced need for sleep and loss of touch with reality. Depressive episodes may include symptoms such as low energy, low motivation and loss of interest in daily activities. Mood episodes last days to months at a time and may also be associated with suicidal thoughts.
Treatment is usually lifelong and often involves a combination of medications and psychotherapy.
Signs and Symptoms
Mood: mood swings, sadness, elevated mood, anger, anxiety, apathy, apprehension, euphoria, general discontent, guilt, hopelessness, loss of interest, or loss of interest or pleasure in activities
Behavioural: irritability, risk-taking behaviours, disorganised behaviour, aggression, agitation, crying, excess desire for sex, hyperactivity, impulsivity, restlessness, or self-harm
Cognitive: unwanted thoughts, delusion, lack of concentration, racing thoughts, slowness in activity, or false belief of superiority
Psychological: depression, manic episode, agitated depression, or paranoia
Weight: weight gain or weight loss
Sleep: difficulty falling asleep or excess sleepiness
Also common: fatigue or rapid and frenzied speaking
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