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Bipolar Disorder
Basic Information

Mood Swings vs. Mood Disorders - Discovering Bipolar Disorder

People use the term mood to describe the emotional tones that color their daily lives. Moods are everywhere and ubiquitous; everyone has them. Moods may be happy or sad; energized or sluggish; embodying various combinations of emotional states. Moods consist of feelings as well as the thoughts and judgments that give feelings their meaning. An anxious mood may shift into an excited mood with a simple change of perspective, and a depressed mood may shift into a happier one upon hearing pleasing news. Moods are typically transient things that shift from moment to moment or day to day, but they can be prolonged states as well which color the whole psychic life for long periods of time.

While people's moods rise and fall as various life events are experienced, most moods never become that extreme or feel uncontrollable. As depressed as an average person might get, it won't take too much for them to recover and start feeling better. Similarly, happy and excited moods are not easily sustainable either, and tend to regress back to a sort of average mood. Most people can't stay too depressed or too happy for any length of time.

In contrast to people who experience normal mood fluctuations are people who have Bipolar Disorder. People with bipolar disorder experience extreme and abnormal mood swings that stick around for prolonged periods, cause severe psychologic...

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Introduction to Bipolar DisorderTypes of Bipolar and Similar DisordersCurrent Understandings and Body SystemsDiagnosis of Bipolar DisorderMedication Treatments for Bipolar DisorderPsychotherapy and Other TreatmentsSelf-Help and Helping OthersReferences and Reading List
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Depression: Major Depression & Unipolar Varieties
Addictions: Alcohol and Substance Abuse