About 1 in 100 people are diagnosed as having bi-polar disorder.

Around 15% of people who have a first episode of bi-polar disorder never experience another one. 

Changes in mood are a daily occurrence for everyone but for people who suffer from bi-polar disorder, the moods are extreme. During the manic or 'high' phase, people are very overactive. They may see things or hear things that other people can't. They may be unable to sleep, feel extravagant and spend large amounts of money that they may or may not have. During these periods people are liable to be irritable or over talkative, sometimes to the point of being incoherent. During the 'low' phase of the illness, people may feel overwhelmed by despair, guilt and feelings of unworthiness. They may be very apathetic and totally unable to do the simplest task. Episodes of highs and lows may occur directly after each other or there may be periods of stability.


Medication is often effective in managing manic depression but learning to self-manage the mood swings is also an invaluable part of stabilising the condition and can work alongside medical treatment.  Medication can be taken to prevent episodes of mania, hypomania (less severe mania) and depression and these are known as mood stabilisers and are taken every day, on a long-term basis.  Psychological treatment such as talking therapy can also play a key role in helping to deal with depression and to give you advice about how to improve your relationships. 

For further information on depression, support groups, educational and training courses, contact Aware Defeat Depression NI 


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