CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) - Bipolar Disorder is a serious mental illness that can feel like you're on an emotional roller coaster. Clinical psychologist Dr. Tim Hope shared more about this disorder.
It is characterized by Mania:
- Days at a time of boundless energy
- Lack of need for sleep
- Feeling "on top of the world"
- Rapid, loud speech and racing thoughts
- And poor impulse control by engaging in risky behaviors
This manic period is then often followed by Depression:
- Feeling sad, down, dejected, helpless, and hopeless (perhaps even suicidal)
- Lack of energy, slowed movements
- Increased need for sleep
Bipolar Disorder is a highly heritable condition, which means that it tends to run in families. Bipolar Disorder most often emerges in young adults, say 18-22 years old, but it can be diagnosed in children.
Treatment usually consists of a medication, such as a mood stabilizer, psychotherapy for the person with Bipolar Disorder, and family therapy to education and provide support to the family. Once the optimal treatment combination is found, the person with Bipolar Disorder can resume full functioning. It is, however, some that is managed and not cured (new treatments are always being developed, so there is always hope that a cure will be found!)