With bipolar disorder, you go back and forth between highs and lows of Reference mania and Reference depression Opens New Window. In between, you may return completely to normal or have some remaining symptoms. The extreme mood changes may come on suddenly or appear more slowly.
During a manic episode, you may go from feeling abnormally happy and productive to behaving irresponsibly and sleeping very little. After this manic high, your mood may return to normal. Or it may swing in the opposite direction. You may feel useless and extremely sad. And you may lose interest in things you've enjoyed in the past.
Men tend to have more manic highs, and women tend to have more lows of depression.Reference 3
At first, stress may trigger depression or mania. But as the illness progresses, mood swings may not be caused by any specific event. Without treatment, your bipolar disorder may get worse. This can cause you to move more often between mania and depression.
Other health problems
People with bipolar disorder—men more often than women—may have Reference substance abuse Opens New Window problems, especially during manic episodes.Reference 4 Abusing alcohol or drugs may affect treatment and interfere with taking medicines as prescribed. Other disorders that may occur along with this disorder include:Reference 5
- Reference Obsessive-compulsive disorder Opens New Window.
- Reference Panic attacks Opens New Window or Reference panic disorder Opens New Window.
These illnesses need to be treated along with bipolar disorder.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference July 26, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Patrice Burgess, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry