1 in 100 Singaporeans will suffer from Bipolar Disorder which is characterised by episodes of mania and depression. Symptoms of depression are the same as for major depression. Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder include (based on DSM IV):
- unusually high or irritable mood for at least one week
- inflated self esteem or grandiosity; thinking that one is more important than he really is
- more talkative than usual or pressured speech
- feeling that thoughts are racing
- easily distractable
- increase activity to make grand and unattainable plans
- reckless behaviours such as spending sprees and impulsive sexual indiscretions
Some patients with mania may hear things that are not there or have false beliefs. These usually involve them thinking they have superhuman or godlike abilities. Some may indulge in drugs and alcohol when they are unwell.
The main stay of treatment are mood stabilising medications. It is important that patients of Bipolar Disorder be psychoeducated about their illness and the importance of staying on their medications. It is also beneficial for them to have a stable social rhythm by maintaining regular schedules and having sufficient rest and sleep.