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What is Bipolar disorder ?

Updated: Apr 23, 2020

Bipolar disorder is marked by drastic changes in a person’s mood. You may often hear it described as manic depression.

It can be identified by someone experiencing mood changes that go from one extreme to another.

You may experience moods that are high one minute and low the next.

What does a ‘low’ mood look and feel like? You may feel irritable, have self-esteem along with self-doubt and intense depression.

What does a ‘high’ mood look and feel like? You may have excessive energy, not eating or sleeping or talking really quickly with racing thoughts.

What is Bipolar disorder?

The exact cause of Bipolar disorder is unknown. Many factors play a role including physical, environmental and social factors.

Bipolar affects 1 in 100 people. Both genders are affected equally. There are many treatments for Bipolar disorder and many with the condition can go on to lead very healthy and normal lives.

During a high or ‘manic’ phase a person can:

  1. Be over confident

  2. Feel full of great ideas and having important plans

  3. Saying things out of character that may be harmful to others.

  4. Talking very quickly

  5. Feeling very happy, elated or overjoyed.

  6. Feeling full of energy

  7. Lack of judgement in relation to sexual interactions, spending sprees, reckless driving or increased use of alcohol and drugs

During a low or depressing phase, a person can:

  1. Feel worthless, helpless, useless and unimportant

  2. Lose interest in people and interests.

  3. Feel tired and have a lack of energy.

  4. Thinking a lot about death or contemplate suicide.

  5. Difficulty concentrating and remembering things.

  6. Feeling of guilt and despair

  7. Feeling pessimistic about everything

If you think you or someone you care for may be suffering from Bipolar disorder, contact your local GP who will guide you in the right direction and support you.


If you need further support remember to let us help you here at Talk To Tom. We can be your guide - contact us on (0818) 303061or via Whats App. To launch a chat now click here.  You can find out more about our counselling service here


Other services you where you can reach someone to talk to are:

Samaritans offers a 24 hour listening service over text message, text 'Hello' to 087 260 9090 to get started (standard text messaging rates apply) or call 116 123 to talk to someone over the phone.

Childline text and instant messaging services are available from 10am - 4am every day to young people under 18, text 'Talk' to 50101 to talk to a trained counsellor by text message or call 1800 66 66 66.


Visit Your GP:

We always recommend that you visit your GP if you have not been feeling well.  Don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed.  Your doctor is a professional health care provider and will be familiar with how you are feeling.  You mental health is just that - your health.  You would visit your GP if you had been feeling physically unwell right ?  Your emotional health is just as important as your physical well-being - in fact the two go hand in hand.  If you don’t have a current GP you can find a list of services in your area here.  You can also contact the CareDoc service on 1850 334 999.


Contact the Emergency Services:

If you are an immediate danger to yourself and are going through a suicidal crisis  please contact the emergency services by dialling 999 or visit your nearest Emergency Department.

For more information visit the HSE website

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