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Understanding bipolar disorder

Mood swings can be attributed to almost anyone. That may be the root cause of the problem in dealing with people who have bipolar disorder. Many of those that we here at the Disability Rights Center work with who are stricken with this condition often find it difficult for others to empathize with their situations. You spouse, boss or coworkers might claim to understand what it is like to have mood swings, yet since they are able to set them aside and remain productive, they may expect the same from you. What they do not understand is that your bipolar disorder goes way beyond simple changes in mood. 

The word "bipolar" itself means relating to two different extremes. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, your bipolar disorder causes you to easily shift between periods of manic excitement and enthusiasm to extended episodes of depression and lethargy. Maintaining a "middle ground" may be next to impossible (although some manic and depressive episodes may be less severe than others). The effects of these episodes are not just psychological; they typically manifest themselves in your everyday actions. Although the emotions experienced differ, some of the physical symptoms indicating a manic or depressive episodes are shared, such as: 

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Irritability 
  • Problems with focus and concentration

Given the emotional vacillations that come with bipolar disorder, you (and the other important people and parties in your life) might find it difficult for you to maintain a consistent level of productivity (both with personal and professional tasks). While you may need to be willing to accept treatment to combat the condition, others may need to show understanding and patience with your struggles. You can learn more about the rights owed to you due to your disability by continuing to explore our site. 

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