Everyone experiences highs and lows in life. A breakup or losing a job can cause people to feel sad and depressed, while the birth of a child or getting a promotion at work can give people a surge of energy and excitement. For people with bipolar disorder, the cycle of highs and lows is continual and uncontrollable, affecting their mood and behavior to greater extremes than the average person may experience.
With bipolar disorder, the lows can mean major depressive episodes while the highs, called manic episodes, can make them feel out of control and cause them to engage in high-risk, dangerous behavior. Bipolar disorder was formerly referred to as manic depression because of the cycle of manic episodes and depression.
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