BIPOLAR DISORDER – characterized by shifts in mood as well as changes in activity and energy levels. The disorder often involves experiencing shifts between elevated moods and periods of depression.
Mania – this mood is characterized by a distinct period of elevated, expansive, or irritable mood accompanied by increased activity and energy. Periods of mania are sometimes marked by feelings of distraction, irritability, and excessive confidence. People experiencing mania are also more prone to engage in activities that might have negative long-term consequences such as gambling and shopping sprees.
Depressive Episodes – these episodes are characterized by feelings of a depressed or sad mood along with a lack of interest in activities. It may also involve feelings of guilt, fatigue, and irritability. During a depressive period, people with bipolar disorder may lose interest in activities that they previously enjoyed, experience sleeping difficulties, and even have thoughts of suicide.
Both manic and depressive episodes can be frightening for both the person experiencing these symptoms as well as family, friends and other loved ones who observe these behaviors and mood shifts.