What is it?

Bipolar disorder (formerly called manic-depressive illness or manic depression) is a mental disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, concentration, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. There are three types of bipolar disorder and they all involve clear changes in mood, energy, and activity levels.

Some symptoms of bipolar disorder are:

Manic episodes:

  • Feeling very ‘’up’’, happy and elevated
  • Talking and thinking very quickly when usually people have trouble keeping up with you
  • Difficulty to concentrate
  • Feeling that you have many new and great ideas
  • A sense of grandiose
  • Easily agitated and irritable
  • Feeling like you are so energetic that you don’t need to sleep at all
  • Sometimes, when having a manic episode you can experience hallucinations

Hypomanic episodes are very similar to manic episodes but they are less severe.

Major depressive episodes:

  • Depressed mood, such as feeling sad, empty, hopeless or tearful (in children and teens, depressed mood can appear as irritability)
  • Losing motivation and not finding joy in activities
  • Either insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Decreased ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness
  • Thinking about, planning or attempting suicide

Treatment – How to get help?

There are several ways to diagnose and treat bipolar disorder. With the proper help, the symptoms can be managed through a tailored care between the patient and practitioner. If you or a loved one is experiencing these symptoms, do not hesitate to reach out. Together, we can find the right services for you.


What to say to a person with bipolar disorder:

‘’This is a medical illness and it is not your fault.’’

‘’You and your life are important to me.’’

‘’Your illness doesn’t define who you are. You are still you, with hopes and dreams you can attain.’’

‘’I am here for you, whatever you need.’’

‘’You are important to me’’


What not to say to a person with bipolar disorder:

‘’You are crazy! This behaviour is not normal.’’

‘’Everyone has bad times.’’ 

‘’You don’t have to take your moods out on me — I’m getting so tired of this.’’

‘’You are not even trying.’’

‘’What’s wrong with you?’’


Substance Abuse and Mental Health info

At SAMHA, we are here to listen to you, to guide you, and to advocate for you.