Bipolar Disorder Awareness Day

Bipolar Disorder, also known as Manic Depressive Disorder, is a mental illness primarily characterized by mood swings that alternate between two phases: mania (the high) and depression (the low). These two phases vary between those who suffer from this illness, ranging from days to months depending on the severity.

During a manic episode, symptoms can be characterized by hyperactivity, extreme happiness, and extreme irritability. Perception of danger may be inhibited and therefore actions may be impulsive and careless. Often during mania there is little need for sleep and thoughts may be fast and disorganized, which can cause excessively rapid speech. Mania can be severe in terms of the dangerous and extreme behaviors and can vary in its frequency. The feeling of “exaltation” can generally sum up this phase of Bipolar Disorder.

The other phase of Bipolar Disorder is the low, depressive phase that follows or precedes a manic episode. It is characterized by symptoms opposing that of mania: lack of energy, extreme sadness, feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, lack of interest in things, and the inability to enjoy what are normally pleasurable activities to an individual. During a depressive episode, an individual may even feel suicidal. Again, the extent and severity of the depression during this face, as well as its duration, will vary from person to person.

Despite the alternation between the high and low phases that characterize Bipolar Disorder, there are periods of “normal” mood, athough it is often short-lived.

Following The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), October 9th is Bipolar Disorder Awareness Day, and they state that about 1% of Canadians will experience Bipolar Disorder. While this article is just an introduction, keep yourself informed. Be aware of Bipolar Disorder, not just today, but everyday!

Check out the references below to learn more about Bipolar Disorder.


Sources1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7