If you are suffering from a condition known as bipolar disorder you will experience bouts of both depression and mania: during a calendar year, if untreated, you may experience both extremes from severe depression to uncontrollable mania. Some individuals experience depression or mania for one or two weeks at a time, while others feel that their mood is constantly swinging from one extreme to another without ever being able to experience a ‘normal’ mood.
Often the sadness comes first, and most patients are diagnosed with depression a long time before they experience their first manic episode. During the depression, patients feel an overwhelming sense of worthlessness and sadness; however, there are all sorts of other features including:
- loss off concentration
- inability to smile or enjoy daily activities
- problems decision making
- psychomotor retardation or agitation
The manic phase of this disorder can come on gradually or suddenly depending on the individual concerned. During this manic phase, some patients feel invincible and many make ambitious plans throughout the day; other features may include one or more of the following: spending huge amounts of money, being involved in sexual behaviour with one or more partners, speaking rapidly, going for long periods of time without any sleep, having grandiose and unrealistic thoughts and being irritated easily.
Bipolar Disorder is treatable. Psychotherapist, David Kraft, has treated this problem successfully using psychodynamic psychotherapy. In some cases, this condition can be treated using psychotherapy alone; however, in other instances, the therapy needs to be combined with medication.