bipolar disorder, you go back and forth between highs and lows of
mania and depression. In between, you may return completely to normal
or have some remaining symptoms. The extreme mood changes may come on suddenly
or appear more slowly.
During a manic episode, you may go from feeling abnormally happy and productive to behaving irresponsibly and sleeping very little. After this manic high, your mood may return to normal. Or it may swing in the opposite direction. You may feel useless and extremely sad. And you may lose interest in things you've enjoyed in the past.
If you have bipolar disorder, no one needs to tell you how challenging this mental illness can be. You are among millions of American adults who may also find that the mood episodes of bipolar disorder can be very disruptive at work. Take heart. There are many steps you can take to find meaningful work and develop successful relationships on -- and off -- the job.
Men tend to have more manic highs, and women tend to have more lows of depression.3
At first, stress may trigger depression or
mania. But as the illness progresses, mood swings may not be caused by any
specific event. Without treatment, your bipolar disorder may get worse. This can cause
you to move more often between mania and depression.
Other health problems
People with bipolar disorder—men more often than
substance abuse problems, especially during manic
episodes.4 Abusing alcohol or drugs may affect
treatment and interfere with taking medicines as prescribed. Other disorders
that may occur along with this disorder include:5
These illnesses need to be treated along with bipolar
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
April 03, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this