Bipolar disorder was previously known as manic depression. ‘Bi’ means two, whilst ‘polar’ means the complete opposite. Let’s take a deeper look at this disorder.

1 in 50 people in the UK are diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which is around 1.3 million people. One to two per cent of the population experience a lifetime prevalence of bipolar disorder, while an estimated five per cent are somewhere on the bipolar spectrum.

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Bipolar episodes

Bipolar disorder affects mood and results in people experiencing extreme lows or highs. These manifest as both depressive episodes, with overwhelming feelings of extreme depression and lethargy, and manic episodes, with a feeling of extreme hyperactivity and sometimes reckless behaviour. These episodes can hinder a person in day-to-day life, can be difficult to overcome, and can last for several weeks. They are sometimes accompanied by psychotic symptoms.

What is the cause?

Although the exact cause of bipolar disorder is unknown, it is thought that triggers such as stress, trauma, life-changing events and genetic or chemical factors may be responsible for its onset.
Bipolar disorder is best kept under control with the implementation of various treatments, including medication, psychological treatment, recognising triggers, and implementing lifestyle changes such as good sleep habits, exercise, and healthy eating.

Mental health training courses

Bipolar disorder can increase an individual’s suicidal tendencies by up to 20 times; therefore, it is vital that we educate ourselves so that we can better protect, safeguard and care for our staff and clients. Training establishments such as Tidal Training offer a variety of mental health training courses, including mental health awareness and bipolar disorder training. Within the bipolar awareness material, students will learn about associated issues such as anxiety, drug and alcohol misuse, and suicidal tendencies.

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These courses not only help those in caring roles to provide a better service to their clients but also help to reduce the stigma surrounding bipolar disorder and other mental health issues by raising awareness and education.

By helping to spread knowledge around these sensitive and highly stigmatised issues, we can contribute to improved health and lifestyle for all.

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