Mental illness is a medical condition that is often associated with particular regions or functions of the brain or the rest of the nervous system, often in a social context.  It is not something that can be controlled or changed by the person suffering from the mental illness itself.  Quite often mental illness is a condition that is not understood by many people or the person is looked at in a negative way.  Society is getting better in general with understanding mental illness, thanks to public education but it is still a medical condition that has different meanings for different cultures and societies.

Misunderstood Mental Disorders

Bipolar mood disorder, also known as manic-depressive disorder, is one of the most commonly misunderstood mental disorders of the ones that exist.  It is a disorder in which people experience disruptive mood swings. These encompass a frenzied state known as mania usually alternated with symptoms of depression.

There are three different levels of bipolar mood disorder, lower, high and higher.  Those who suffer at lower levels of mania, hypomania, may appear energetic and excitable.  At a higher level, individuals may behave erratically and impulsively, often making poor decisions due to unrealistic ideas about the future, and may have great difficulty with sleep.  At the highest level, individuals can show psychotic behavior, including violence. Individuals who experience manic episodes also commonly experience depressive episodes, or symptoms, or a mixed state in which features of both mania and depression are present at the same time.  These events are usually separated by periods of “normal” mood, but may rapidly alternate between the depression and mania.  Severe manic episodes can sometimes lead to such symptoms as delusions and hallucinations.

If you suspect you or someone else you know may have this disorder, is important to see a doctor and get properly diagnosed.  There is bipolar treatment available, which can be life saving.