a term for someone with bipolar disorder or manic-depressive illness, a mood disorder characterized by periods of depression including:
as well as periods of mania in bipolar I disorder, or hypomania (a less extreme form) in bipolar II disorder. Symptoms of hypomania include:
-high energy/decreased need for sleep
When hypomania escalates into mania, symptoms include:
-incomprehensibly fast thoughts/speech
-dangerously impulsive behavior
Contrary to popular belief, most people with bipolar disorder are not constantly fluctuating between extremes. They may experience normal moods for extended periods of time, and a single mood episode tends to last for a few weeks, though mania can quickly become depression and vice versa.
Another common misconception is that bipolar disorder is like depression, but with the bonus of hypomania. Depressive symptoms are equally severe in bipolar I and II disorders, but for people with bipolar I disorder, mania is at least as dangerous and frightening as depression.
Even for those people who experience relatively harmless highs, depression tends to immediately follow hypomania. Whereas major depression can be treated with therapy (as well as medication) and possibly never recur, there is no cure for bipolar disorder and therapy is of limited use. Bipolar disorder has a strong genetic basis and is usually found in families.
People with bipolar disorder are often stereotyped as screw-ups, drug addicts, etc. There is a strong link between bipolar disorder and substance abuse, but many people either recover from or avoid these problems altogether and lead relatively normal, responsible lives.
Your girlfriend when she is mad at you = not bipolar
Anyone bitchy or randomly moody = probably not bipolar
The Rilo Kiley song "A Better Son/Daughter" is often thought to be about bipolar disorder:
And sometimes when you're on, you're really fucking on
And your friends, they sing along and they love you
But the lows are so extreme that the good seems fucking cheap
And it teases you for weeks in its absence
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