Common Mental Health Conditions

Bipolar Disorder

People with bipolar disorder experience periods of unusually intense emotion, changes in sleep patterns and activity levels, and uncharacteristic behaviors—often without recognizing their likely harmful or undesirable effects. These distinct periods are called “mood episodes.” Mood episodes are very different from the moods and behaviors that are typical for the person. During an episode, the symptoms last every day for most of the day. Episodes may also last for longer periods, such as several days or weeks.

People having a manic episode may:People having a depressive episode may:

Feel very “up,” “high,” elated, or irritable or touchy

Feel very sad, “down,” empty, worried, or hopeless

Feel “jumpy” or “wired”

Feel slowed down or restless

Have a decreased need for sleep

Have trouble falling asleep, wake up too early, or sleep too much

Have a loss of appetite

Experience increased appetite and weight gain

Talk very fast about a lot of different things

Talk very slowly, feel like they have nothing to say, forget a lot

Feel like their thoughts are racing

Have trouble concentrating or making decisions

Think they can do a lot of things at once

Feel unable to do even simple things

Do risky things that show poor judgment, such as eat and drink excessively, spend or give away a lot of money, or have reckless sex

Have little interest in almost all activities, a decreased or absent sex drive, or an inability to experience pleasure (“anhedonia”)

Feel like they are unusually important, talented, or powerful

Feel hopeless or worthless, think about death or suicide