Bipolar DisorderAre you sometimes really feeling "down" and sometimes really feeling "up?" Are these mood changes causing problems at work, school or at home? If you said "yes," you may have bipolar disorder, also called manic-depressive illness. More than 2 million Americans have bipolar disorder. It can happen to anyone, no matter what your age or where you live.
There are several steps you might take to better understand and get help for bipolar disorder. First look for signs of the disorder, see your doctor for a checkup and talk about how you are feeling, then get treatment for your disorder and you'll be on the road to feeling better.
Some signs of bipolar are: being restless all of the time, having lots of energy, feeling really mad and not being able to focus on anything for a long time. These are the "up" feelings. Being depressed, such as being sad most of the time, not enjoying doing the things you've always enjoyed doing before, eating all of the time, having lots of aches and pains that don't go away, and thoughts of suicide are the "down" feelings. Most people with bipolar disorder fluctuate back and forth between these "ups" and "downs." Many times the combination of such feelings causes unnecessary problems in the workplace and at home. Any of these signs or combinations will mean that it is time to contact a doctor.
After meeting with your doctor, he might suggest the two common types of treatment, medicine and "talk" therapy. Having both kinds of treatment seems to be the most beneficial. If you don't have a doctor, check your local phone book and look for "health clinics."
If you know someone who is having severe mood changes, tell the person that you are concerned about him or her and make the appointment for them to see a doctor. For more information, call the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance at 1-800-826-3632 or Mental Health America at 1-800-969-6642.