• Cheri Lynn, MBA, LCSW, LICSW

The Building block of mood disorders-Bipolar

Bipolar disorder is made up of three different parts: depression, mania and normal feelings. The depression in bipolar disorder is like depression in any mood disorder. Mania is what makes bipolar disorder different and separates the presenting symptom that shows up in major depressive disorder. Some people experience this as feeling very happy, but others feel very irritable or angry during an episode of mania. Common symptoms of mania include feeling very powerful, not needing much sleep and having racing thoughts. During an episode of mania, many people also do things they wouldn’t normally do, like go on expensive shopping sprees they can’t afford, have risky sex or use alcohol and other substances more than usual. Bipolar disorder can look different in each person depending on how long the mania and depression episodes last, how severe they are, how quickly a person’s mood changes and how long a person has normal mood in between.


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