Bipolar disorder, formerly called manic depression, causes mood swings in extremes. During emotional highs, patients experience periods called mania or hypomania. During emotional lows, they experience similar symptoms to major depression. Individuals who are depressed might lose interest in their activities, withdraw from their social circles, and feel sad or hopeless. During manic episodes, patients might feel like they have a great deal of energy, unusual levels of irritability, or euphoria. Mania can also affect their judgment, impulse control, and rationality. Some mania can present with psychosis like paranoia and delusions. There are several types of bipolar disorder, such as bipolar I and bipolar II. With bipolar I, patients experience manic episodes that cause extreme euphoria or anger. With bipolar II, they experience hypomanic episodes. These may just look like periods of increased productivity and alleviated depression or slightly increased mood. Because mood swings can last for months or years at a time, diagnosing bipolar disorder can sometimes be difficult and requires patience.
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