Bipolar disorder (BD) is a type of mood disorder. Bipolar disorder was called manic depression in the past, and that term is still used by some people. It is a psychiatric illness that causes major disruptions in lifestyle and health. Everyone has occasional highs and lows in their moods. But people with bipolar disorder have extreme mood swings. They can go from feeling very sad, despairing, helpless, worthless, and hopeless (depression) to feeling as if they are on top of the world, hyperactive, creative, and grandiose (mania). This disease is called bipolar disorder because the mood of a person with bipolar disorder can alternate between 2 completely opposite poles, euphoric happiness and extreme sadness.
- Unrealistic plans, spending sprees, an increase in sexual affairs, or other reckless behavior, such as wild driving, also may occur.
- Less sleep and food than usual are needed.
- The person with mania can stay up all night but may find that not much was accomplished because he or she was easily distracted.
- The person with bipolar disorder may talk very quickly and jump from subject to subject. They often exhibit pressured speech during mania.
- Self-esteem may be inflated.
- Any decisions that are made with regard to business and finances are often not good ones.