Department of Psychiatry
Penn Behavioral Health

Mood and Anxiety Disorders Treatment & Research Program

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Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder, previously referred to as Manic Depression, is a mood disorder in which one's mood swings between manic and mixed episodes and poses the possibility of moving into a major depressive episode. There are different forms of Bipolar Disorder, though they are similar in nature. In severe cases, those who suffer from Bipolar I may have to be hospitalized. Bipolar II is similar to Bipolar I, but has a less severe state of mania. Symptoms of both include:

  • Mood swings, often from depressed and sad to very happy and energetic or manic
  • Racing thoughts
  • Abnormally risky behavior
  • Extra energy or decreased need for sleep
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Irritability
  • Distractibility
  • Inflated self-esteem or feelings of grandiosity

The age of onset is usually around twenty years of age for both men and women, though this is not always the case.  There is a possibility of symptoms gradually diminishing with age.

 

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