What is Bipolar Disorder?
More than 2 million American adults have
bipolar disorder, a type of mental illness marked by severe
depression, often with long periods of normality in between.
Could you have bipolar disorder?
- I sometimes have very rapid mood swings- lots of energy
or feeling very happy, then feeling hopeless and helpless-
followed by a period of feeling normal. Yes or No
- I sometimes feel much more confident, talk more quickly
or am more outgoing than normal. Yes or No
- Friends and family say I seem reckless and out of
control sometimes. Yes or No
- I worry my mood swings are so intense that they affect
my work or my relationships. Yes or No
- I have had thoughts of killing myself. Yes or No
If you answered "yes" to these questions, you may have
bipolar disorder. Bipolar sufferers may have severe highs and lows; then weeks,
months or even years of near-normal life may pass before the next episode.
Untreated, these episodes tend to increase in frequency. Some people with
bipolar disorder become
suicidal; the risk appears to be higher early in the course
of the illness, so recognition and early treatment are