Bipolar means two poles, or extremes, and a young person with bipolar disorder is likely to have extreme ups and downs.
They might experience varying extremes of up periods (known as mania), and down periods (depression).
These mood swings can affect young people’s thoughts, feelings, physical health, emotional health, behaviour, and day-to-day functioning.
This can be extremely disruptive and can be distressing to relationships with family and friends.
Four types of mood/episodes bipolar can cause:
A manic episode is an unusually and constantly elevated or bad-tempered mood, lasting at least one week.
During times of mania, a young person might experience:
Hypomania is the name given to a milder form of mania that lasts at least four days. A person doesn’t experience full manic episodes, but milder episodes. It includes symptoms such as increased thought speed and processes, elevated mood, and irritability.
A young person experiencing depression can feel a range of emotions including feeling sad or down, a lack of energy and feeling hopeless or helpless.
A mixed episode means experiencing both manic and major depressive symptoms nearly every day for at least one week. Moods can vary with the time of the day.
Bipolar disorder can be associated with a combination of factors. Risk factors include genetic factors (a family history of bipolar disorder) and environmental factors (such as stressful and traumatic events).Print this page