Bipolar disorder

What is Bipolar affective disorder?

Bipolar affective disorder is also known as manic depression. The disorder leads to serious shifts in mood, energy, thinking and behaviour. Unlike ordinary mood swings, the mood changes of bipolar disorder are so intense – from mania on one extreme to depression on the other – that they interfere with the ability to function day-to-day.

Signs of bipolar

The cycles of bipolar disorder can last for days, weeks or months. Symptoms of mania include:

  • Feeling unusually ‘high’ and optimistic or extremely irritable
  • Unrealistic, grandiose beliefs about abilities or powers
  • Sleeping very little, but feeling extremely energetic
  • Talking so rapidly that others can’t keep up
  • Having racing thoughts; jumping quickly from one idea to the next
  • Being highly distracted and unable to concentrate
  • Impaired judgement and impulsiveness
  • Acting recklessly without thinking about the consequences
  • Delusions and hallucinations (in severe cases)

Symptoms of depression include:

  • Feeling hopeless, sad, or empty
  • Irritability
  • Inability to experience pleasure
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Physical and mental sluggishness
  • Appetite or weight changes
  • Sleep problems
  • Concentration and memory problems
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Thoughts of death or suicide 

CBT London, workplace mental health, online therapy, mental health help, workplace stress

How we can support your employee/member

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can be used in conjunction with medication and other support to help manage bipolar disorder. It is particularly helpful when a person’s condition is stable, and will help: 

  • Identify and correct habitual, harmful thoughts
  • Improve skills of awareness, introspection and evaluation
  • Achieve better coping and reality testing skills
  • Regulate mood swings (where possible)
  • Reduce the impact of bipolar illness, including on loved ones and work colleagues
  • Keep motivation to take medication
  • Identify triggers and help reduce chances of a relapse 

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