What Is Bipolar Disorder? - Symptoms & Treatment

What Is Bipolar Disorder? - Symptoms & Treatment
Coming up next: What Is Suicide? - Definition, Triggers, Underlying Causes & Prevention

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:06 Bipolar Disorder
  • 1:35 Mania
  • 3:12 Types of Bipolar Disorder
  • 4:38 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Natalie Boyd

Natalie is a teacher and holds an MA in English Education and is in progress on her PhD in psychology.

Studying the mood disorder called bipolar disorder can help you understand how persons with this disorder cycle through extreme moods of depression and mania. Explore bipolar disorder in this lesson, and test your understanding with a quiz.

Bipolar Disorder

There's something wrong with Ronni. She sometimes feels really depressed for a while and is overcome with sadness. She eats all the time, sleeps too much and isn't really interested in anything at all. But then, after a while of feeling depressed, Ronni will all of a sudden switch completely. She feels energized and loses her appetite. She barely sleeps at all but doesn't feel tired. Her thoughts race, and she talks a mile a minute.

What's going on? Ronni might be suffering from bipolar disorder, also called manic depression, a mood disorder that involves cycling between depression and mania. Mood disorders involve a disturbance in one's emotional reactions or feelings. Mostly, this means that a person is feeling more or less than usual.

At some times in our life, we have all felt very depressed, and there may have been times when we have felt excited or energized like mania. But for most of us, when we are depressed or euphoric, we generally know why. We can attribute our depression or our mania to something that has happened to us, like a relative passing away or getting the job we really wanted.

But someone with bipolar disorder might not have a reason for feeling the way they do. They just change moods no matter what's going on. Let's look closer at the types and treatments of bipolar disorder and what a manic state actually is.

Mania

Ronni has bipolar disorder. She switches between bouts of depression and periods of mania. But what exactly does that mean? What is mania? Many people think that manic patients are really happy and euphoric during their mania. This might be true, but there's more to it than just that.

Some manic patients feel irritable and hostile, for example, instead of happy and euphoric. Even more common are the patients who switch back and forth between euphoria and irritability during a manic phase.

So what is mania exactly? Besides happy or hostile moods, some common symptoms include:

Grandiose plans are often made. People in manic states might decide to start a business with no real plans or to run a marathon without having trained. People experiencing mania often have racing thoughts and rapid speech. They are also easily distracted. Little or no sleep and feeling like there's no need for it is another common symptom.

Sleep patterns vary from person to person, so the changes in sleep experienced during mania can vary. There can be a decrease in the hours of sleep needed. Persons can stay awake for extended periods of time. Inflated self-esteem is common and can become delusional so that a person harbors feelings of enormous grandeur and power. A patient might also display reckless behaviors, like indulging in foolish ventures, major spending sprees and sexual indiscretions.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support