Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive disorder, is a mental illness that causes extreme shifts in mood, behavior and energy levels. These shifts consist of incredibly energetic and manic highs and depressive lows.
Patients with bipolar disorder will have periods where they feel unusually excited and energetic and other times, they will feel severely depressed and fatigued. There are periods of time in between where they will appear to be acting normal.
The word “manic” refers to the times when patients with bipolar disorder feel overly energetic and confident. During these periods of mania, they may also feel highly irritable and impulsive and make reckless decisions. About half of the people who struggle with bipolar disorder with have delusions or hallucinations during manic episodes.
The word “depressive” describes the times where these people feel very depressed and low in energy. These symptoms are identical to those of major depression, a depressive disorder where someone never has the manic highs of bipolar disorder.
Some patients even experience “hypomania”, which technically means “less than mania” and refers to episodes that are similar to mania, but not as severe. These are typically marked by feelings of excitement, impaired judgment and hyperactivity.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), is used by mental health providers to diagnose mental health disorders and lists criteria for such conditions:
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 5.7 million American adults struggle with Bipolar Disorder. It is more common than many people think and can wreak havoc on one’s life if it is left untreated.
Many addicts struggle with co-occurring mental disorders like bipolar disorder and it is vital that they receive treatment for their condition after being taken off of drugs and alcohol. Numerous symptoms of bipolar disorder can be spotted in addicts throughout their addiction, but in order to get a truly accurate diagnosis, they must receive psychiatric treatment while they are sober.