About Bipolar Disorder

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar Disorder (formerly known as manic depression) is a mental illness characterised by significant mood swings, including manic highs and depressive lows. Most individuals with bipolar disorder experience alternating episodes of mania and depression and between 2-3% of Scotland’s population (100,000-150,000 people) live with bipolar disorder, though not all have been diagnosed. Bipolar Disorder is very inclusive and can affect anyone of any age from any background. The symptoms can first occur and then recur when work, studies, family or emotional pressures are at their greatest. In women, it can also be triggered by childbirth or during the menopause. The key to coping with bipolar disorder is early diagnosis, accepting the illness and adapting your lifestyle to enhance your control over the symptoms. The illness can be managed through a blend of medication, psychological therapies and self-management – everyone must find the balance of treatments and therapies that works for them.