Bipolar disorder, formerly called manic depression, is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression).
When you become depressed, you may feel sad or hopeless and lose interest or pleasure in most activities. When your mood shifts to mania or hypomania (less extreme than mania), you may feel euphoric, full of energy or unusually irritable. These mood swings can affect sleep, energy, activity, judgment, behavior, and the ability to think clearly.
Episodes of mood swings may occur rarely or multiple times a year. While most people will experience some emotional symptoms between episodes, some may not experience any.
Although bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition, you can manage your mood swings and other symptoms by following a treatment plan. In most cases, bipolar disorder is treated with medications and psychological counseling (psychotherapy).
Source: Mayo Clinic
Types of Bipolar
Bipolar (Manic Depression)
Bipolar in Children & Teens
- Depressive Symptoms: Feelings of sadness, anxiety, hopelessness, guilt, worthlessness, and low self-esteem. Restlessness, irritability. An inability to feel anything at all. Loss of physical energy. Increase or decrease in weight, appetite, and sleep. Thinking or memory impairment. Thoughts of death, suicide or hurting oneself.
- Symptoms of Mania: Decrease needs for sleep. Increase in spending habits and sexual drive. Excessive energy/agitation. Feelings of grandiosity/inflated self-esteem. Poor judgment. Racing thoughts, flight of ideas. Excessive interest of activities. Rapid, unpredictable emotional changes. Extremely talkative/pressured speech. Extreme irritability. Overreaction to stimuli. Loss of appetite and weight loss.
Individuals may experience variations in symptoms and severity.
- Bipolar Disorder affects approximately 2-2.2% in Canada.
- Although a single cause has not been identified, it is known that many factors, including biochemical, genetic and environment play a part in this illness.
- There is growing evidence that heredity is involved, especially in the more recurrent forms of the disorder.
Bipolar Disorder is usually treated by a variety of medications, together with supportive psychotherapy. The most common medications are mood stabilizers such as Lithium Carbonate, Tegretol, and Valproic Acid. Medications prescribed for this disorder may also include anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, and anti-anxiety agents.Since bipolar disorder is a recurrent illness, often with widely separated episodes over many years, you may have to take medications for long periods of time.
- An expansive or irritable mood
- Rapidly changing moods lasting a few hours to a few days
- Explosive, lengthy, and often destructive rages
- Separation anxiety
- Defiance of authority
- Hyperactivity, agitation, distractibility
- Sleeping little or, alternatively, sleeping too much
- Bed-wetting and night terrors
- Strong and frequent cravings, often for carbohydrates and sweets
- Excessive involvement in multiple projects and activities
- Impaired judgment, impulsivity, racing thoughts, pressure to keep talking
- Dare-devil behaviors
- Inappropriate or precocious sexual behavior
- Delusions and hallucinations
- Grandiose belief in own abilities that defy the laws of logic (Ability to fly, for example)
Individuals may experience variations in symptoms and severity.
- The illness tends to be highly genetic, but there are clearly environmental factors that influence whether the illness will occur in a particular child. Bipolar disorder can skip generations and take different forms in different individuals.
- For the general population, a conservative estimate of an individual's risk of having full-blown bipolar disorder is 1 percent. Disorders in the bipolar spectrum may affect 4 - 6 %.
- When one parent has bipolar disorder, the risk to each child is 15 to 30%. When both parents have bipolar disorder, the risk increases to 50 to 75%. The risk in siblings and fraternal twins is 15 to 25%.
- The risk in identical twins is approximately 70%.
If possible, have a board-certified child psychiatrist diagnose and treat your child. Although there is no cure for bipolar disorder, in most cases treatment can stabilize mood and allow for management and control of symptoms. A good treatment plan includes medication, close monitoring of symptoms, education about the illness, counseling, or psychotherapy for the individual and family, stress reduction, good nutrition, regular sleep and exercise, and participation in a network of support. The response to medications and treatment varies. The good news is that with appropriate treatment and support at home and at school, many children with bipolar disorder achieve a marked reduction in the severity, frequency, and duration of episodes of illness.
Men’s Peer Support Group
Online Mixed Peer Support Group
Postpartum Peer Support Group
Women’s Peer Support
Indigenous Talking Circle
Friends and Family Support Group
Youth Peer Support
Mixed Senior’s Tea & Tales
Mixed Coffee and Chat
Mixed Depression & Anxiety
Young Adult Peer Support Group
Mixed Peer Support Group – Parkland
Brandon Men’s Activity Club
Westman Men’s Exchange
Bipolar Peer Support Group
Power To Parent
This group caters to everyone who identifies as men that addresses to all mood disorders diagnosed or undiagnosed and welcomes them to experience support and connection.
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
6:30 pm - 7:30 pmLAUNCH ONLINE MEETING
This group caters to everyone regardless of their age or gender and addresses all mood disorders diagnosed or undiagnosed and welcomes them to experience support and connection.
6:30pm to 7:30pmLAUNCH ONLINE MEETING
Our postpartum support group addresses issues and concerns that can come with the birth of a baby, with special emphasis on postpartum depression.
9:00 am - 10:00 amLAUNCH ONLINE MEETING
These in-person and online groups for women welcome open, honest and heartfelt connections and conversations. We aim to provide coping techniques, and support for women struggling with their mental health.
6:45pm to 7;45pm
Facilitator: Asta Carvalho
12:00pm to 1:00pmLAUNCH ONLINE MEETING
This group is specifically offered to the Indigenous community and their families. Our aim is to provide support for any diagnosed or undiagnosed mood disorders along with resources in each group.
Facilitator: Jeff GobielLAUNCH ONLINE MEETING
This group offers support to friends and family to help them deal with mood disorders diagnosed or undiagnosed and welcomes them to experience support and connection.
7:00pm to 8:00pmLAUNCH ONLINE MEETING
This online group offers a safe space for youth under 17 years of age where they can come together and chat about their own mental health and seek help for any mood disorders they might be suffering from.
6:00pm to 7:30pmLAUNCH ONLINE MEETING
Our Seniors Tea & Tales is all about coming together for afternoon tea or coffee to share experiences and discuss a variety of topics about mental health, or simply to connect with other people in a similar age group!
Location: Our office at 4 Fort Street; Winnipeg
1:30pm to 3:30pm
This in-person group is offered to all in community and their families. We provide an educational component along with resources in each group.
5:30pm to 6:30pm
This in-person group is for anyone who is suffering from bipolar diagnosed or undiagnosed and welcomes them to experience support, conversations and connection.
6:30 to 7:30pm
This is an in-person group for anyone struggling with depression or anxiety diagnosed or undiagnosed. We welcome you to experience connection and conversation along with support and resources to help you heal.
6:30pm to 7:30pm
This group is a safe space where youth ages 18-24 come together and chat about their own mental health and what’s going on in their lives. We will cover certain themes every week and at the end of every month we will have an outing while doing peer support. Themes can include Self-care, Support Systems, Advocacy, Transitioning and more.
6:30 pm -7:30 pmLAUNCH ONLINE MEETING
This is an online group that meets on Saturdays.
11:00am - 12:00 pm
Facilitator: MelLAUNCH ONLINE MEETING
This is a “coffee and conversation” support group for women experiencing mood disorders, low mood, or the frustrations and concerns of Covid-19. It is a group of women helping women through sisterhood and connection. This group does not meet on statutory holidays. (No charge for this group)
10:00am to 11:00am
Facilitator: SusanLAUNCH ONLINE MEETING
It is a group aimed primarily at men 40+ but those younger are welcome as well. The group fosters socialization and connection amongst men in a workshop setting. This group does not meet on statutory holidays. (No charge for this group.)
1:30 to 3:30 pm
Facilitator: In person at the BNRC Creation Nation Maker Space in Brandon, Manitoba
Join men aged 18+ from Westman area to discuss news about your community, your interests and general connection and camaraderie.
1:30 to 3:00 pmLAUNCH ONLINE MEETING
An online peer support group for those living with bipolar, diagnosed or undiagnosed. Meet and connect with peers in your area on Thursday nights. This group does not meet on statutory holidays. (No charge for this group)
6:30pm to 8:00pmLAUNCH ONLINE MEETING