The Different Sides of Bipolar

Two sides of coin

Image by Colin Cubitt, copyright protected.

Laura is freelance writer who has written a short piece on what it can feel like for those experiencing the 'high' and 'low' periods which are associated with bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder really can be an illness of two halves. Diagnosed sufferers may find that their lives are punctuated by intense highs, married with terrible lows – that can be so debilitating it can be almost impossible to carry on with day to day life.

The highs – up periods, are often termed 'Hypomania'.

Sufferers who are experiencing these symptoms will feel that everything is heightened, they will feel so “up” and on top of the world that they can do almost anything they put their mind to.

They might have boundless energy – coupled with feelings of intense anger or irritation that the world around them is not moving fast enough or that people cannot keep up with them.

The lows can be draining and some sufferers report that all they want to do is sleep – this may be to compensate for the times which they are high and use up lots of nervous energy. It’s very often the body’s way of slowing everything down again. This can be accompanied by crippling feelings of depression, weight loss and a general lack of personal care.

Treatment for bipolar disorder can vary from patient to patient and can also depend on the severity of the illness.

Some sufferers may be able to cope with a simple regime of medication, talking therapy and a moderate lifestyle.

Others may need more long term help, perhaps in the form of inpatient hospital treatment, with a period of time to get used to a more stringent regime of medication and therapies to help stabilise the physical and mental aspects of the illness.

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