What Is Bipolar Affective Disorder?

Bipolar affective disorder, also known as manic depression, is a type of mood disorder. The symptoms can include cycling moods that range from ‘mania’ (a high or euphoric state) to ‘depression’ (low or sad feelings). It’s most commonly diagnosed in people between the ages of 15 and 35, but it can be affecting people at any age.

Bipolar affective disorder, also known as manic depression, is a mental illness that causes extreme mood swings. People with bipolar disorder can have periods of intense happiness, followed by periods of deep depression.

Causes of Bipolar Affective Disorder

There are many possible causes of bipolar affective disorder, but the exact cause is not known. It is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Bipolar disorder tends to run in families, so it is thought that there may be a genetic component. However, not everyone with a family history of bipolar disorder will develop the condition.

Environmental factors such as stress, trauma, or major life changes may trigger the onset of bipolar disorder.

Symptoms of Bipolar Affective Disorder

There are two types of bipolar affective disorder, type 1 and type 2. Type 1 is characterized by periods of mania, followed by periods of depression. Type 2 is characterized by periods of hypomania, followed by periods of depression. Both types of bipolar disorder can cause severe mood swings, and both can be debilitating.

Symptoms of bipolar disorder can include:


  • feeling excessively happy or “high”

  • having a decreased need for sleep

  • talking very fast and jumping from one idea to another

  • being easily distracted

  • having an increased sense of self-confidence and feeling invincible


  • feeling sad or “empty” most of the time

  • losing interest in activities that were once enjoyable

  • having trouble sleeping or sleeping too much

  • experiencing fatigue or low energy levels

  • having difficulty concentrating or making decisions

  • feeling hopelessness or worthlessness

Treatment for Bipolar Affective Disorder

There are a variety of different treatment options available for bipolar disorder, and the best course of action will vary from person to person. Medication is often used to help stabilize moods and manage symptoms. Therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy can also be helpful in managing the condition.

It is important to work with a mental health professional to create a treatment plan that is tailored to your individual needs. With proper treatment, people with bipolar disorder can lead happy and productive lives.

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