What happens when you’re bipolar?

(The Philippine Star) - March 23, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Bipolar disorder, otherwise known as manic depression, is a mental illness, specifically a mood disorder that brings about extreme high and low moods and changes in a person’s life.

People who are bipolar experience periods in which they are overly happy and energetic and other periods of sadness, hopelessness and sluggishness. The highs and lows are the two “poles” of mood; thus the term “bipolar.”

The word “manic” refers to someone with bipolar disorder who feels overly excited and confident. These moods can also go the opposite direction, such as irritability, impulsiveness and recklessness. Most often than not, 50 percent of people during manic phases may also have delusions (believing things that aren’t true that they can’t be talked out of) or hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t there). 

“Hypomania” describes milder symptoms of mania, in which someone does not experience delusions or hallucinations, and these conditions do not interfere with their everyday life.

“Depressive,” on the other hand, refers to when a person feels very sad or depressed. Those symptoms are similar to depression, a state in which someone never has manic or hypomanic episodes. 

Most people with bipolar disorder spend more time in depressed phases than in manic phases.

With bipolar, the dramatic episodes of high and low moods do not follow a pattern. A person may feel the same mood (depressed or manic) several times before moving to the opposite mood. These episodes can happen over a period of weeks, months, and sometimes even years.

Think of it this way: we all experience changes in our moods. It’s perfectly normal to feel happy and excited, and some days, we might feel irritable and frustrated. For people with bipolar disorder, however, the severe mood swings are so extreme that it can affect their daily lives and relationships. A recent study revealed that six out of 10 patients have tried to end their life at least once while eight out of 10 have suicidal thoughts, and three out of 10 succeed in taking their own lives. With proper treatment, bipolar sufferers can lead productive lives. That’s why it is very important to seek professional help.






  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with