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  • People Needing Support
  • Friends/Family Needing Support
  • South Western Sydney Mental Health Directory
  • A South Western Sydney Mental Health Resource

    People Needing Support

    Information About Mental Illnesses

    Bipolar Disorder

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    Signs and Symptoms

    Bipolar disorder is the name used to describe a set of ‘mood swing’ conditions, the most severe form of which used to be called ‘manic depression’. The term describes the exaggerated swings of mood, cognition and energy from one extreme to the other that are characteristic of the illness.

    (Reference: Black Dog Institute)

    People with Bipolar disorder can become high, over-excited and reckless, or imagine that they are more important or influential than they are in real life.

    They can also become extremely low, feeling helpless and depressed, with difficulty making decisions or concentrating. Some people mainly experience highs. Some experience mainly lows, and some experience both extremes — becoming profoundly depressed or over-excited. The person may then behave in an uncharacteristically irrational or risky manner.

    (Reference: Sane Australia) 

    For more information about Bipolar Disorder see: Black Dog Institute

    For more information about Bipolar Disorder see: Sane Australia


    Bipolar disorder usually requires a long-term treatment plan often involving medication as well as psychological treatment and lifestyle approaches. There are a range of effective treatments for bipolar disorder, and it is possible to manage with the right treatment.

    The three broad categories of treatment for bipolar disorder include:

    • physical (medications and ECT)
    • psychological (counselling, psychotherapy, psychoeducation)
    • self-help, lifestyle changes and complementary therapies.

    (Reference: Black Dog Institute) 

    For more information about treatment for Bipolar Disorder see: Black Dog Institute – Treatments for bipolar disorder 

    Who Can Help

    There are a number of Mental Health Professionals who can offer support. These professionals could include General Practitioners, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Occupational Therapists, Mental Health Nurses or Social Workers.

    For Further Information

    SANE Australia – Bipolar Disorder

    Black Dog Institute – Bipolar Disorder

    Black Dog Institute – Treatments for Bipolar Disorder

    beyondblue – Bipolar Disorder

    Reach Out – What is Bipolar Disorder?

    headspace – Understanding Bipolar Disorder – for Young People