On the inside,
Yasmin lives with bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder can make your mood change dramatically - from feeling very depressed to experiencing what's called mania. These moods can last a short time, or for months – affecting every part of your life.
The mood fluctuations experienced by someone with bipolar disorder are very different from the changes in mood that most of us experience. The highs and lows are extreme, can last for months and may leave you needing hospital treatment.
I’m prone to irrational or reckless behaviour. When manically high I once got engaged to someone within days.
Pick as many as you think
People with bipolar disorder can behave in an extreme way at times, but their reckless actions and poor choices make them more of a danger to themselves than others.
My manic spending and giving large amounts of cash to the homeless and people I felt sorry for was unsustainable, and I was at great risk of being exploited.
In the middle of a manic phase, you could experience all of these feelings.
You might have lots of energy for a while, but that can turn to feeling irritable, restless or out of control. Mania can even come with some of the highly distressing symptoms of psychosis.
Bipolar disorder can affect you at any age, but you’re most likely to be diagnosed when you’re younger.
In 2014, 3.4% of 16 to 24-year-olds were diagnosed, compared to just 0.4% of 65 to 74-year-olds.
You are up to 10% more likely to develop bipolar disorder if a close relative – such as a parent or sibling – also has the condition. However, there is no single gene responsible for bipolar disorder, which means there is no test to predict if you will develop the condition.