Understanding Bipolar Disorder

Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

Bipolar Disorder is a neurological condition wherein a patient experiences a cycle of extreme sadness and extreme euphoria. It is called ‘Bipolar Disorder’ because the patient passes through two extreme and very opposite emotions at unusual intervals.  The two extremes are called Mania and Depression.

Mania is a state of extreme happiness and unusual hyperactivity in a patient. When they experience it, many start by being extremely active even in things they are not good at. Furthermore, they develop exaggerated feelings of self-worth and confidence. They lack control to their energy and often expect people around them to feel the same way.

Many times, they may start jumping up and down, running around, shouting, excessively dancing and feeling on top of the world. At the time of this hyperactivity, many indulge in reckless decision-making and even waste money. They do all the crazy shenanigans based on the phrase: ‘You Only Live Once’.

On the other hand, Depression is the opposite of Mania for it is described as an extreme feeling of sadness and lack of desire to do anything. During depression, patients seem to be extremely moody and often show no interest to do anything.

In extreme cases, they start crying continually and feel like the darkness in the world is incomprehensible. The crying can escalate into negative self-talk and feelings of worthlessness. It is in that extreme that patients go into isolation and wallow in self-loathe.

Ultimately, the sadness and the combination of feelings can lead to self-harm through slashing of wrists or thighs. The highest form of depression, which is seen as incomprehensible often leads patients to drinking poison and committing suicide in an attempt to free themselves.

Different things depending on the person cause Bipolar Disorder. For some, it is a hereditary disorder that can be passed down from one generation to the next. The genes responsible for it vary depending on how much they mutate and this will draw distinction on the extremity of the patients Bipolar Disorder.

For other people, Bipolar Disorder is a result of trauma experienced at a young age. Trauma can be caused by abuse, bullying, rape or other factors. The trauma if not dealt with deprives the child the ability to become rational because it leaves fear in them. This feeling of fear becomes bigger and bigger as the years go and ends up becoming Bipolar Disorder. This is why many patients often say they feel ‘stuck in their own heads.’

It is very unfortunate that Scientists have found a link between Bipolar Disorder and Intelligence or Creativity. Although not everyone with high IQ has bipolar disorder, many actually do. Scientists say many of the genes responsible for cognitive ability are similar to those responsible for intelligence.

A sign that an intelligent person is Bipolar is that they create masterpieces in the time of deep sadness. This is called Maniac Creativity.  From art pieces to beautiful poetry to even brilliant scientific discoveries, the one trait they share is Bipolar Disorder.

In addition, many brilliant celebrities have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and usually claim that their form of art frees them from the demons in their head. For example, novelist Ernest Hemmingway, Songstress Mariah Carey and Scientist Isaac Newton are all victims of Bipolar Disorder.

It is therefore important to see a medical doctor once you realize that you have any signs of emotional instability. In addition, one can go for therapy and normalize keeping a self-care routine so that they have emotional outlets that do not destroy them in the end. Parents should create healthy communicative atmospheres in their households because many teenagers are suffering in silence.

In conclusion, Bipolar Disorder, though not curable is treatable. Our society should learn to prioritize their mental health so that it is easy to support all. Most importantly, get educated about mental health so that our world becomes better and healthier!


Grace Makwaza
Grace is an uprising youth activist who uses her voice to inspire and inform. She has worked internationally as the Deputy Secretary General with Model UN Impact. This is where she advocated for youth inclusivity in the implementation of the SDGs and further launched projects such as PHAHAMA MOSALI. She is currently the youngest SDGs Ambassador for the internationally renowned Global Citizens Innovative Solutions SDGs Challenge.