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Bipolar Disorder (formerly known as Manic Depression)


Mania is feeling very high, full of energy and nearly immortal. Bipolar disorder is when a person experiences episodes of serious depression and mania alternately. The lows may last a few days or several weeks. Likewise the highs might be accompanied by inability to sleep or to relax. The person may go on shopping or gambling sprees for days or weeks at a time. They tend to be talkative, restless, aggressive, grandiose, extreme or destructive. They may boast or appear intimidating or powerful as if they had the power of the earth in their command. They may feel a sense of intense well being and they may have an increased desire for sexual gratification.

One man in a manic episode purchased seven red Camaros - one for each day of the week. A woman with the disorder became obsessed with a rock star and followed him, like a groupie, whenever she was in a manic phase. It is not uncommon for someone in a manic episode to give away all of their possessions and embark on a wild adventure. They may swing back and forth from depression to mania on a regular basis or they may experience a "calm" or "normal" period between episodes.

Not everyone who is depressed or manic experiences every symptom. Some people experience a few symptoms, some have many. Also, the severity of symptoms varies with individuals.

Symptoms of Mania:

  • Inappropriate elation
  • Inappropriate irritability
  • Severe insomnia
  • Grandiose notions
  • Increased talking
  • Disconnected and racing thoughts
  • Increased sexual desire
  • Markedly increased energy
  • Poor judgment
  • Inappropriate social behavior
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