About bipolar disorder

Does it feel like you are not in control of your mind? Bipolar is a brain disorder and it causes abnormal mood shifts. You can have mood swings, struggle to focus and concentrate, your energy and activity levels and change and you can find it difficult to do the simplest of things.

The exact cause is unknown although researchers think it can be genetic, biological or induced by the environment and abuse of substances.

There are 4 types of bipolar. People experience extreme ups (manic or hypomanic episodes) and extreme downs (major depressive episodes).


Words of wisdom from a psychiatrist

"Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder that is chronic that is as a result of dysfunction of the neurotransmitters of the brain. This means there is no cure for it and that one must stay on medication for life to prevent relapse. The medication helps to balance the dysfunctional brain neurotransmitters."


Ask the right questions

You may be curious about how you got this disorder: why you were chosen, what you did wrong or why you. You could feel discouraged if you fixate on these questions. They are not always useful and beneficial; they can lead to dead-end answers.

You could focus on questions that can help you understand the disorder and teach you to cope so that you can live a better life.

  • How do I know if I have Bipolar? Check your symptoms. You only need one manic or hypomanic episode to be diagnosed. A psychiatrist needs to assess and diagnose you.

  • What is the purpose of my medicine? It stabilises your mood. There are side-effects and they stabilise. Don't be afraid to go for second opinions.

  • How can it be cured? It can't be cured right now. It's long-terms or life long for types I and II. Episodes can last for weeks to months and they can be mixed.