In bipolar disorder, clients suffer from mood swings between the extremes of depression (see Depression for a description) and episodes of mania.
In a manic episode, clients can be extremely happy, or irritable. With this euphoria, comes increased energy, racing thoughts and a decreased need for sleep. You may be up all night doing projects or chores that you otherwise would not be doing.
Clients are often told that they are talking too fast or going off on a tangent. You may have grandiose ideas of fame and fortune. It is during a manic episode that clients tend to become impulsive. They may engage in reckless spending sprees, participate in dangerous activities such as drug abuse, and hypersexual activity.
These impulsive behaviors can have devastating consequences socially, occupationally, and financially.
There are a good number of mood-stabilizing medications available to treat bipolar disorder.