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Manic depression, or bipolar disorder as it has now become known, is characterised by dramatic swings in both mood and energy levels. The intense highs of manic episodes are followed by the deep lows of severe depression

There are many symptoms of a bipolar manic episode, the most obvious of which ia a feeling of total happiness or jubilation. You will feel full of energy, and have a heightened level of self-esteem. Indeed, you may develop a tremendous sense of your own importance.

Other symptoms of mania include talking very quickly, being easily distracted, and having a greater interest in fanciful ideas. You may also have less desire to sleep, and become delusional in your thinking. Some bipolar sufferers even experience hallucinations during their manic episodes.

The main symptom of the depression stage of bipolar disorder is a feeling of sadness and hopelessness. You will have very little energy, and have difficulty focusing on anything.

Other symptoms of the depressive stage include, feelings of pessimism, a sense of worthlessness, a lack of appetite, and, in some cases, suicidal thoughts. Depression may also cause in inability to sleep or a desire to sleep too much.

Although some people with bipolar disorder develop symptoms of mania closely followed by symptoms of depression, many sufferers will experience a stage or normality in between. This can last for days, weeks or sometimes even months. Two people will bipolar disorder can display very different symptoms and patterns of behaviour. Very few cases are the same.

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