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Also known as manic depression, bipolar is a mood disorder characterised by mood swings and large
changes in behaviour and mood. Your emotions may swing from one extreme to another, i.e. super
happiness to deep depression, with a small `normal/ balanced' period inbetween.

Bipolar disorder should be distinguished from…

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3. Cyclothymic Disorder, a chronic state of cycling between hypomanic and depressive episodes that
do not reach the diagnostic standard for bipolar disorder

Manic episodes include:

A distinct period of excessive and persistently happy or irritable mood, lasting at least 1
week (or less if hospitalised)
During this happy period…

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Biological explanation

· Bipolar disorder tends to runs in families. About half the people with bipolar disorder have a
family member with a mood disorder, such as depression; a person who has one parent with
bipolar disorder has a 15 to 25 percent chance of having the condition. A non-identical…

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The depression phase of bipolar disorder is often diagnosed first. You may initially be diagnosed with
clinical depression before having a manic episode later (sometimes years later), after which you may
be diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

During an episode of depression, you may have overwhelming feelings of worthlessness, which…

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·learning to recognise the triggers and signs of an episode of depression or mania

·psychological treatment - such as talking therapy to help deal with depression and to give you
advice about how to improve your relationships

·lifestyle advice - such as doing regular exercise, planning activities that you enjoy…


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