Bipolar disorder is also known as Manic-depression. It is a brain disorder that causes serious shifts in mood, energy levels and social functioning. Everyone around us encounters ups and downs which are considered to be normal, it would not be wrong to say that anybody can experience mood swings. Nobody is immune to aggression, grief or sadness but shifts in bipolar disorder are unlike ordinary mood swings. Bipolar disorder refers to two bio-psychological states, mania and depression. Mania is characterized as hyperactive phase of this illness in which patients experience overly excited, unusual high or irritable mood. On the other hand, depression is characterized as overly sad or hopeless mood state.

In manic state individuals can experience inflated sense of self-esteem. People also consider themselves superior than others. Often tell exaggerated stories about their wealth, power, abilities or spiritual standings. Many times hold unrealistic ideas and grand plans. This mood state also accompanies decreased need for sleep and highly impulsive behavior. Racing thoughts and pressured speech are also common.  People in mania become delusional very often. Sometimes even experience other psychotic features like hallucinations.

Sibtain MustafaMr. Sibtain Mustafa currently serves as the Clinical Psychologist at Willing ways Lahore. He has done Master’s in Clinical Psychology, from University of Karachi, Karachi. He has served as an internee at Anti Narcotics Force-ANF Rehabilitation Center, Karachi. During his internship he developed understanding of basic concepts in addiction. Furthermore he has worked as a trainee psychologist in Alleviate Addiction Suffering (AAS) Trust, Karachi.

Editor: Saad Shaheed

In contrast to mania depression is considered to be an inactive state of mood. Usually mania precedes depression because brain and body experience high level of energy. And exhaustion of mania precipitates crash into the deactivated state of bipolar-depression. Feeling of hopelessness and inability to experience pleasure or lack of interest are common features of depression. In this phase people experience very low self-esteem, may feel to be worthless and also experience guilt. This state accompanies slow speech, slow physical movement, isolation and suicidal ideation.


Generally people understand this disorder as it only affects one’s mood whether it also influence energy levels, self-esteem, cloud’s judgment, interferes in memory, disturbs sleep patterns and appetite. People with bipolar disorder, when in manic phase are considered to be very happy but in fact manic phase represents loss of control over actions and thoughts. They also get irritable when mania progress. Another misconception is that people with this illness shift back and forth very often between poles, mania and depression. Actually most patients are more often depressed than they are manic. Patients may also experience longtime without symptoms.