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Bipolar disorder was previously known as manic depression. Everyone has changes in their mood, but with a person who has got bipolar disorder, the changes can be extreme highs or lows, and these could have a big impact on the day-to-day life of the individual. During the highs or manic episodes, the person will feel full of energy. They will feel positive and be able to take on any challenge. However, they may quickly experience a severe low or depressive episode where they feel deeply depressed and unable to cope.

During the manic stage, the person may appear very happy or elated. They may seem full of energy or self-importance. They may be easily distracted or agitated. They may also do things or make decisions that are completely out of character, in some cases, things that others may consider to be risky or harmful. During the depressive stage, the individual may seem sad, hopeless, or irritable. They may have difficulty concentrating or remembering things. They may be experiencing feelings of guilt and despair, and appear very pessimistic about everything. They may appear to have a lack of energy or enthusiasm. Symptoms may include a loss of appetite, delusions, hallucinations and disturbed, illogical, or suicidal thoughts. Individuals may have more of one type of an episode than the other, and in between, they may have a normal mood.