Bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder may be diagnosed when a person experiences both periods of elevated mood (known as mania) and low mood (depression). This disorder was previously known as manic depression.

During a period of mania, the person may present with extremely elevated positive mood, undertake risk-taking behaviour, talk very fast and may find it difficult to sleep. Their understanding of negative consequences may be affected during this period of time.

During the depressive period, a person may experience ongoing sadness, and an inability to find enjoyment in usual day-to-day activities. They may feel constantly tired, worthless and experience low self-esteem. Read more about the signs of and treatments for depression.

To find out more about bipolar disorder or get support, visit the websites below.

Taking medicines for mood?

Taking medicines for epilepsy, mood or pain (PDF, 305 KB) contains important information for women who are:

  • near childbearing age and sexually active
  • thinking of getting pregnant or are pregnant.
  • taking medicines for epilepsy, pain, or mood regulation.

If you have any questions about this or your medication you should discuss this with your health provider. It is important that you keep taking your medication and that you talk to you doctor about any changes that will be right for you.


Related websites

Balance NZ
A charitable trust supporting those affected by mental health issues with a focus on mood disorders.

Family Services Directory
A directory of community support services that can help you find support in your area.

Health Navigator
The Health Navigator NZ website helps you find reliable and trustworthy health information and self-help resources.

Mental Health Foundation
The Mental Health Foundation provides free information and training, and advocates for policies and services that support people with experience of mental illness.

Supporting Families in Mental Illness New Zealand
A support organisation for the family and whānau of people with a major mental illness such as bipolar disorder.

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