Bipolar disorder used to be called manic depression. As the older name suggests, someone with bipolar disorder will have severe mood swings. These usually last several weeks or months.
There are different episodes of Bipolar disorder, such as:
* Low or depressive - feelings of intense depression and despair;
* High or manic - feelings of extreme happiness and elation;
* Mixed - for example, depressed mood with the restlessness and overactivity of a manic episode (32).
The mood swings are not as severe as those in full bipolar disorder, but can be longer. This can develop into full bipolar disorder (32).
It used to be thought that if you had bipolar disorder, you would return to normal in between mood swings.
We now know that this is not so for many people with bipolar disorder.
You may continue to experience mild depressive symptoms and problems in thinking even when you seem to be better.
Bipolar disorder may result in you having to stop driving for a while. Visit the DVLA website for further information (32).
In between episodes of mania or depression, psychological treatments can be helpful. Treatment usually involves around 16 one-hour sessions over a period of 6 to 9 months (32).
Psychological treatment should include:
* Psychoeducation – finding out more about bipolar disorder;
* Mood monitoring – helps you to pick up when your mood is swinging;
* Mood strategies – to help you stop your mood swinging into a full-blown manic or depressive episode;
* Help to develop general coping skills;
* Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for depression (32).
If you require help and advice Counselling and Psychotherapy may be provided via Skype and FaceTime in the comfort of your home, office or any place of your choice.