Bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression) causes serious shifts in mood, energy, thinking, and behavior–from the highs of mania on one extreme to the lows of depression on the other. More than just a fleeting good or bad mood, the cycles of bipolar disorder last for days, weeks, or months. And unlike ordinary mood swings, the mood changes of bipolar disorder are so intense that they interfere with your ability to function.
During a manic episode, a person might impulsively quit a job, charge up huge amounts on credit cards, or even feel rested after sleeping two hours. During a depressive episode, the same person might be too tired to get out of bed and full of self-loathing and hopelessness over being unemployed and in debt.
The causes of bipolar disorder aren’t completely understood, but it often runs in families. The first manic or depressive episode of bipolar disorder usually occurs in the teenage years or early adulthood. The symptoms can be subtle and confusing; so many people with bipolar disorder are overlooked or misdiagnosed, resulting in unnecessary suffering. But with proper treatment and support, you can lead a rich and fulfilling life.
Second, they need to live a consistent and healthy lifestyle in every area of their life, from finances, diet, exercise, relationships, spirituality and sleep hygiene to managing stress.
Lastly, they need to create a strong supportive therapeutic team of both professionals and friends. The clients we see who have trustworthy people around them, who graciously give them feedback, fare, by far, the best. You do not want to do this alone. Because this disorder directly affects one’s executive functioning of the brain you will need to have people around you who can help monitor how you are doing.