Bipolar disorder (or manic-depressive illness) is a common, severe, and persistent mental illness. This condition is a serious, life-long challenge in which a person experiences a period of depression followed by a manic “high”. A manic episode is a period lasting at least a week with symptoms such as an abnormally elevated mood, exaggerated self-esteem, decreased need for sleep, pressured speech, irritability or distractibility, and reckless or impulsive behaviors such as sexual indiscretion or spending sprees. A person in a manic phase may also experience psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations (hearing or seeing things that are not there) or delusions (firmly believing things that are not true).

Additional symptoms of a manic episode may include:

  • Grandiosity 
  • Lesser need for sleep 
  • Excessive talking  
  • Racing thoughts or flight of ideas 
  • Easily distracted
  • Increased level of goal-focused activity at home, at work, or sexually 
  • Excessive pleasurable activities, often with painful consequences 

Additional Resources

Treatment of Bipolar Disorder: A Guide for Patients and Families
The Highs and Lows of Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar Disorder and Immune Dysfunction:Epidemiological Findings, Proposed Pathophysiology and Clinical Implications

Please remember this information is intended for educational purposes only and should not substitute medical advice from a healthcare provider.