Bipolar-web.pdf - Bipolar disorder Normal feelings vs...

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headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health under the Youth Mental Health Initiative. Bipolar disorder It’s normal to experience a range of emotions and feelings in your life. How you feel is affected by the things going on around you, your friends or family, stressful events, or sometimes by nothing at all. Ups and downs or changes in mood are normal and generally don’t cause too many problems. What is bipolar disorder? What is a manic episode? A manic episode is a period of constant and unusually elevated (‘high’) or irritable mood and a noticeable increase in energy or activity. This generally lasts at least one week and leads to a range of difficulties in a person’s daily life. When someone is having a manic episode they may experience a combination of: A hypomanic episode is a milder form of mania that lasts for at least four days. The symptoms are less severe and there are no psychotic symptoms. Hypomanic episodes may be enjoyable as the person can experience more confidence and an elevated mood. Some people will manage to keep functioning without any significant difficulties but others will progress to experience a full manic episode. Even if hypomanic symptoms are not distressing it is important to let a mental health professional know about them. Whether these experiences are pleasant or frightening some people may be reluctant to get help. They may not believe that they are unwell or that they need treatment. They may also be feeling very suspicious and/or confused, making it hard for them to trust others. Elevated mood – feeling euphoric, ‘high’ or ‘on top of the world’, or very irritable Less need for sleep – sleeping very little without feeling tired More energy, activity and drive having lots of projects or plans, walking long distances, being always ‘on the go’ Racing thoughts and rapid speech – thoughts jumping around

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