What is bipolar? Most of us have heard the term manic depression in our lives, now called bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is a mental illness. It is a chemical disorder in the brain that causes severe mood swings with varying degrees from severe depression to mania. It is believed to affect approximately 2 million people in the United States, but this is probably far from being an aquarium as people are still undiagnosed for a variety of reasons.

What is bipolar? Well, in a depressed phase, it is almost impossible to get out of bed, or even fully wake up. If we get the person out of bed, we often find them on the couch, unable to do anything productive until they start to go into a manic phase. Our house is messy, we can’t focus on something we feel we don’t care about, often they don’t bathe for days or weeks, they won’t get anywhere. BP suffers from losing their jobs, homes, friends, and sometimes their family. They experience chronic suicidal tendencies and threaten and attempt suicide regularly.

When they are in the manic phase, it can bring a completely different set of problems. While in a manic phase, they can be very productive, impulsive, reckless, irresponsible, and dangerous. They do everything to excess, they drink too much, they drive too fast and recklessly, they take drugs, they have gambling problems and they take things to the point where they lose everything. What is Bipolar, because people with Bipolar Disorder are impulsive and sometimes cannot make good decisions. For the person suffering from bipolar disorder, anger can be experienced with both phases, depression and manic. Living with bipolar disorder can be very difficult, but some people can lead normal and productive lives.

What is bipolar? It is a very serious mental illness. It is impossible for people to understand and ask them to get rid of it or to act normal because it is simply an impossible goal. Bipolar disorder is a disease like any other that must be evaluated and treated by a professional. Mental illness is no one’s fault and it is hard enough living with mental illness without the added punishment and social stigma that comes with it.

Symptoms of bipolar disorder:

Depression
Nervousness, easily upset
Desperate feelings, negativity
Loss of appetite that can result in weight or weight gain from overeating
Low energy, fatigue, feeling of exhaustion and tiredness.
Lack of concentration, poor decision making, trouble remembering things.
· Thoughts of death or suicide; suicidal tendencies
Difficulty sleeping, irregular sleeping patterns, falling asleep
Physical symptoms such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain.
Guilty, useless, helpless feelings.
Loss of interest in hobbies, low sex drive
Sadness, anxiety, feeling of emptiness

Mania
Bad social behavior
Too annoying
Extravagant behavior
Extreme happiness
Not sleeping
Over energized
Multiple uncontrolled thoughts
High sex drive
Bad decisions
Talk excessively

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