Bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression) is a treatable illness marked by extreme changes in mood, thought, energy and behavior. It is not a character flaw or a sign of personal weakness. Bipolar disorder is also known as manic depression because a person’s mood can alternate between the “poles” of mania (highs) and depression (lows). These changes in mood, or “mood swings,” can last for hours, days, weeks or months. Nearly six (6) million adult Americans are affected by bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder differs significantly from clinical depression, although the symptoms for the depressive phase of the illness are similar. Most people who have bipolar disorder talk about experiencing “highs” and “lows”—periods of mania and depression. These swings can be severe, ranging from extreme energy to deep despair. The severity of the mood swings and the way they disrupt normal life activities distinguish bipolar mood episodes from ordinary mood changes.
Read more about bipolar disorder.
Anxiety is your mind and body’s natural response to events that are threatening. The right amount of anxiety can help you, but too much anxiety can interfere with your life.
Some worry and anxiety is normal for everyone. But when anxiety is severe, lasts for several weeks and includes symptoms that keep you from doing things you usually would, it may be something to discuss with your health care professional.
Read more about anxiety.