Facts About Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression, is a condition led by episodes of severe depression and, other times, bouts of mania – defined by extreme happiness, bursts of energy, limited sleep, and a lowered sense of responsibility. 

According to Mental Illness Policy, bipolar disorder is a neurobiological brain disorder that affects about 2.3 million Americans. This number evens out to almost 1 percent of the American population. Most times, it is hard to depict signs of bipolar disorder in a child, but sometimes that is when the signs of bipolar start. It can start in early childhood, or start in a person’s 40s or 50s, however, most often, the effects of bipolar disorder usually begin in adolescence or early adulthood.

Bipolar disorder has been associated with genius and with creativity. It is certainly true that a number of contemporary high achievers and creatives have spoken of their experiences. Throughout history, it has been possible to recognize bipolar type traits in artistic, political, and academically successful people. But what is it like? Celebrities like Kanye West have spoken out about the condition, and this is what it’s like:

A Whirlwind

Bipolar can be a difficult whirlwind and can throw people’s lives off. People who have experienced untreated bipolar symptoms have fallen into a large depression, have struggled to hold down a job, and most likely have turbulent and dysfunctional. Therapy and medication often help people stabilize.

An Appreciation For Bad Habits

Because people who struggle with bipolar disorder often struggle with depression, it can cause them to fall into destructive lifestyles that can hamper their health, such as self-medicating habits. Severe and untreated bipolar disorder can fuel drug use and alcoholism and cause people who suffer from it to fall into a hole.

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Bipolar disorder without talk therapy or medication can make people feel isolated, no matter how many friends or family connections they have around them for support. The idea that nobody understands them or people will get “creeped out” or call them crazy is almost always the root cause of this condition.

A Mental Pendulum

Mentally, people with bipolar disorder can feel moments of extreme euphoria fueled by binge indulgences in irresponsible activities. This can almost feel like a “high” time, but after a few days, that feeling wears off, and they crash into terrible and intense bouts of depression that can manifest in uncontrollable crying, mood swings, and irritability at the slightest provocation, and extreme rage.


For many people, bipolar episodes can make people feel unstable and unreliable. Because they are pushed to make decisions that trigger a domino effect in all parts of their lives, this can cause extreme instability and a lack of focus.

Bipolar disorder is not a one-size-fits-all condition because it varies from one person to another, and people experience it differently. If you or a loved one suspect that you may have bipolar disorder, it is not the world’s end. There is still time to find specialized help and live a stable and successful life, but you have to be willing to put in the work and reach out for help and be intentional about your healing. You got this.