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AN INTRODUCTION TO BIPOLAR DISORDER; mind over matter.

Byline: WITH DR ELLIE MILBY

THANKS to events such as World Bipolar Day and campaigns aimed at ending the stigma surrounding mental health issues, awareness of bipolar disorder is slowly spreading. However, as a psychologist, I often encounter misconceptions about bipolar disorder which can make life harder for people affected by the condition.

Catherine Zeta-talked about with bipolar Bipolar disorder can cause dramatic changes in a person's mood between periods of depression and mania. During an episode of depression symptoms can include overwhelming feelings of sadness or worthlessness, a lack of energy, difficulty sleeping and concentrating and suicidal thoughts.

By contrast, during a manic episode symptoms may include intense feelings of happiness, hyperactivity, being easily distracted and talking faster than usual. A person's behaviour can also change during a manic episode and they may do or say things that appear out of character, risky or impulsive.

Bipolar disorder affects people in different ways. Some people may experience what's called "rapid cycling" where they switch repeatedly between depression and mania without having periods where they feel normal in between. Others have more frequent bouts of depression and only occasional manic episodes or vice versa. It's also possible to experience a mixed episode when a person has symptoms of depression and mania at the same time.

As with many mental illnesses, the causes of bipolar disorder are not yet fully understood. There is evidence that bipolar disorder is linked to an imbalance of chemicals in the Jones has her battle disorder brain and that it can run in families. Symptoms of bipolar disorder may also be triggered by stressful events such as relationship breakdown, bereavement or abuse.

FACTS ABOUT BIPOLAR DISORDER | Around 1 in 100 people are diagnosed with bipolar disorder at some in their lives | Bipolar disorder used to be called manic depression | | | Stephen Fry and Catherine Zeta Jones are among celebrities who have spoken out about their personal battles with bipolar disorder | Bipolar disorder may be treated with medications known as mood stabilisers | Psychological therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy or family therapy can also be effective For more information visit www.bipolaruk.org or call 0333 323 3880. | Dr Ellie Milby is a counselling psychologist.

Catherine Zeta-Jones has talked about her battle with bipolar disorder

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Apr 29, 2016
Words:376
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