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What is Bipolar Disorder?

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), “bipolar disorder, once called manic-depression, is characterized by a mood cycle that shifts from severe highs (mania) or mild highs (hypomania) to severe lows (depression)” (ADAA, “Types of Depression,” 4/4/2013).

There are two types of phases that fall under bipolar disorder. For example:

During the manic phase, a person may experience abnormal or excessive elation, irritability, a decreased need for sleep, grandiose notions, increased talking, racing thoughts, increased sexual desire, markedly increased energy, poor judgment, and inappropriate social behavior. (ADAA, “Types of Depression,” 4/4/2013)

However, during the depressive phase, a person experiences some of the same symptoms as one who suffers from major depression. A mood swing from manic to depressive is gradual, but may also occur abruptly.

Most people experience anxiousness and generally have ups and downs. It is natural to change your mood or anxiety level, especially if the change has anything to do with a recent stressful or difficult event.

But when a person experiences anxiety or depression that is so severe and overwhelming to the point that it interferes with personal relationships, work responsibilities, and daily functions, then there is cause for concern.

People who fall under this category may be suffering with an anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, or both. It is not uncommon for someone who has an anxiety disorder to also suffer with bipolar disorder.

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