“People with bipolar disorder experience alternating depressive episodes with periods of manic symptoms.  During a depressive episode, the person experiences depressed mood (feeling sad, irritable, empty) or a loss of pleasure or interest in activities, for most of the day, nearly every day.  Manic symptoms may include euphoria or irritability, increased activity or energy, and other symptoms such as increased talkativeness, racing thoughts, increased self-esteem, decreased need for sleep, distractibility, and impulsive reckless behaviour.  People with bipolar disorder are at an increased risk of suicide. Yet effective treatment options exist including psychoeducation, reduction of stress and strengthening of social functioning, and medication.”

Source : OMS, 2022. Mental disorders. World Health Organization [online]. 8 June 2022. [Accessed on 17 February 2023].

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People with bipolar disorder cannot manage their lives independently.This disorder is treated with specific medication and appropriate medical follow-up. 
Even during extreme phases, patients keep both feet firmly on the ground; their discernment is not altered. With medication, the disorder can be stabilized; the patient’s life can thus evolve favorably. 
People with bipolar disorder may experience great sleeping disturbances, spend money, believe they are invincible, be irritable and euphoric. This disorder was once known as manic depression.
People with bipolar disorder always engage in extreme behaviors (ex : risky behavior, extreme sports, excessive consumption…)A person who is at times too sad and at times too happy may have bipolar disorder. 
Patients shift significantly from a high to a low mood (mania/depression). The mood swings that people with bipolar disorder experience are unrelated to their personality nor to life events. 
Someone who is moody or constantly changing their mind is necessarily bipolar. A person with bipolar disorder has two facets or a dual personality. 

Real-life stories


Being depressed and manic all at once (Source H. Lundbeck)


A mother’s testimony on raising Sadie, her bipolar child (Source: GreatSchools)


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Where to get help