Submitted by Sue Baldauf, Bedford Youth and Family Services
Bipolar disorder, which used to be referred to as “manic depressive disorder” is a condition that causes extreme and unpredictable swings not only in mood, but in energy and activity levels. There are an estimated 5.7 million people living in America with bipolar disorder, and only about half of them receive treatment for the condition.
Unlike someone who is simply “moody,” people with bipolar have mood changes that are drastic from that person’s usual mood and behavior. During a manic episode, people will sometimes have racing thoughts that jump around from topic to topic, talk very fast, or act impulsively.
Some of the symptoms of the depressed mood include feeling sad, fatigued, lonely, and a lack in interest in what they usually enjoy. There are several successful treatments for bipolar disorder. A short screening can indicate if you or someone you know has symptoms consistent with bipolar disorder. Visit Bedford Youth and Family Services webpage on the Town of Bedford website www.bedfordma.gov/youth and look under the “screening” section to check out any concerns of your own. All screenings are free and confidential.