Waitematā DHB Isa Lei - Pacific Island Community Mental Health Services
Public Service, Mental Health
Bipolar Affective Disorder or Manic Depression
There are two types of bipolar disorder. They are called type 1 and type 2.
- Bipolar type 1 disorder means you get bouts of mania and bouts of depression.
- Bipolar type 2 disorder also means you get bouts of mania and bouts of depression, but the mania is milder. It is sometimes called hypomania. It’s slightly more common than type 1.
The symptoms of bipolar affective disorder fall into three categories:
- symptoms of mania - feel fantastic and full of energy but others around you can see its uncharacteristic of you to be this way. Full of energy might mean less sleep, more of an appetite and bigger mood swings between happy and sad.
- symptoms of depression - persistent low mood or sadness, difficulty of waking up or unable to get back to sleep, always tired, sometimes you eat much more or much less than usual, loss of interest in usual activities, hard to concentrate, loss of confidence and excessively feeling guilty for minor mistakes/ wrongs, thoughts of hopelessness, death and suicide.
- mixed symptoms of mania and depression - a mixture of both of the above.
- Medication (antidepressants if depressed and mood stabilisers if depressed and manic).
- A combination of counselling and psychotherapy (‘talking therapy’) may hasten recovery.
- Education about bipolar can help people who have it communicate effectively and solve problems alleviating stress.
- Hospitalisation may be required for those who are very unwell and are posing a risk to themselves or to others.
- Looking after physical wellbeing/ health.