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Bipolar disorder is a condition where a person suffered from mood swing either low mood (depression) or elevated mood (manic). The person may also displays sign and symptom of psychosis for example delusion and hallucination.

Signs and symptoms

Depressive phase :

  1. Disturbance of Mood:
    • Persistent sadness
  2. Disturbance of cognitive functions
    • feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
    • feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
    • suicidal thought
    • loss of enjoyment
    • loss of concentration
    • loss of interest
  3. Biological symptoms
    • Loss of appetite
    • Loss of weight
  4. Disturbance of sleep
    • Loss of sexual desire (libido)
  5. Disturbance of menstruation
    • Easily tire

Manic phase:

  1. Disturbance of Mood:
    • Feeling of happiness and well being.
  2. Inflated self esteem feeling of self importance.
  3. Irritability
  4. Decreased need for sleep
  5. More talkative than usual
  6. Distractable easily
  7. Increase sexual urges
  8. Spending spree


Bipolar disorder is a treatable illness.

  • Pharmacotherapy:
    • Antidepressants are used for treatment during depressive phase and stopped during manic phase.
    • Antipsychotics are used for treatment during both phase.
    • Mood stabilizers are used to prevent rapid mood swing.

You must take these medication for a long period of time until you are advised to stop by your doctor.

  • Individual counselling:
    • Will help you understand the nature of the illness so you are better equip to handle your illness. It will also helped you to regain self confidence and self esteem.
  • Group therapy
    • These involve gathering of a group of people with the same problem i.e schizophrenia to sit together to discuss their experience, difficulty and way of coping. In this way they will learn from each other
    • and support each other.
  • Psychoeducation
    • Learning about the illness and its treatment; recognizing and preventing relapse.
  • Family therapy
    • To help family members cope with and manage the stress of living with schizophrenic.


Stress reduction techniques


Every psychiatric department in general hospital have an occupational therapy unit with trained staffs to help you recover from your illness.

Some health centres are equip with community psychosocial rehabilitation unit to help you recover from your illness and regain your confidence to work and interact with society.

Support groups

  • KAMI (Family support group of Johor)
  • MMHA (Malaysian Mental Health Association-PJ)
  • Each state family support group
Last Reviewed : 20 April 2012
Writer : Dr. Mohd Nasir bin Abdul Kadir
Reviewer : Dr. Mohd Ariff Bin Mohd Noor