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Understanding Bipolar Disorder: Navigating the Path to Wellness

Written by: Nick Wong

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder, once called manic depression, affects mood, energy, and daily functioning. It includes types like Bipolar I, Bipolar II, and Cyclothymic Disorder, with different degrees and durations of mood swings. 

These mood shifts can be disruptive, making it challenging for individuals to maintain stable relationships, employment, and overall well-being.

Recognizing Signs & Symptoms

  1. Manic Episodes: During manic episodes, individuals may experience heightened energy levels, racing thoughts, increased talkativeness, impulsive behavior, and a heightened sense of self-importance. 

  2. Depressive Episodes: Depressive episodes are marked by persistent feelings of sadness, loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities, changes in appetite, and thoughts of self-harm or suicide. 

“Mania starts off fun—not sleeping for days, keeping company with your brain, which has become a wonderful computer, showing 24 TV channels all about you. That goes horribly wrong after a while.

-Carrie Fisher

Navigating Treatment and Support:

Getting the right treatment and support is crucial for those with bipolar disorder. While there’s no outright cure, a mix of medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes can effectively handle symptoms and enhance life quality. Medications like mood stabilizers and antipsychotics can balance mood swings, while therapies like CBT and interpersonal therapy offer coping strategies and emotional aid. Consistent sleep, exercise, and stress management further help in maintaining mood stability and overall well-being.


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