What is Bipolar Disorder?

In the case of bipolar disorder or manic depressive disorder, mood swings exceed the norm by far. In this process moods range from severely depressed to extremely manic with all forms in-between. Symptoms of a mania are, for example, a feeling of intense elation and increased self-confidence, significantly increased productivity, a reduced need for sleep, even to the point of insomnia, encroaching upon the private space of other people or an increased need to talk. On the other hand, with depression symptoms such as increased sadness, lethargy, indifference, and difficulty sleeping through the night can occur, as well as a tendency to brood constantly and be preoccupied with pessimistic thoughts about the future. With bipolar disorder mood swings often occur independently of external conditions, which, especially in the initial phase of the illness, leads to the person affected feeling at the mercy of their own mood. The recurring manic-depressive phases often cause considerable suffering, not only to the person affected, but also to the people around them.