Bipolar Affective Disorder
Sometimes called "Manic Depression". Bipolar affective disorder is a mood disorder characterised by two extreme periods of behaviour. One extreme is depression (lows) followed by periods of mania (highs). The length of time for each extreme varies in every patient but can be several weeks or longer.
The cause of bipolar affective disorder is unknown, but in many cases the condition seems to be inherited (passed to you from another family member). The condition can also be related to an imbalance of chemicals in the brain.
Treatment for bipolar affective disorder can range from medication to control and stabilise symptoms to learning to manage activities that may trigger symptoms. Psychological therapy can also be of benefit.
If you are suffering from any type of depression it’s important to get help. Your GP, care co-ordinator or the local mental health service can help you. Alternatively the Samaritans website can also help.