The Reality of Bi-Polar Disorder

Bi-Polar Disorder used to be referred to as Manic-Depression, due to the swings in mood from severe depression to extreme mania.

Hence, there are two main elements of Bi-Polar disorder: the first is severe depression, cycling back into the second, a period of mania. When experiencing periods of severe depression, feelings of listlessness, malaise, lack of energy, fatigue, irritability, annoyance, and numbness to life are common symptoms. These symptoms last from weeks to months to years (especially if clinical help is not sought). These symptoms will then give way to high energy and constant activity that is so driven as to be described as being manic (in a constant flurry of activity, being very "wired") for days, weeks, or even months. A profound sleep disorder often accompanies this period, often accompanied by a break with reality (a "psychotic break") when the individual may experience illusions and hallucinations, lasting from days to weeks to months. Hospitalization and medication treatment is often a requirement in order to help the individual regain a sense of reality and balance.

Much turmoil results from the ongoing cyclical pattern that is the hallmark of Bi-Polar (meaning "two extremes") Disorder. Family and friends, along with the person suffering from Bi-Polar, will all need a large support network to cope with the challenges that will be experienced. Mindfulness Meditation (see the tag cloud on the left) provides an extremely helpful tool for finding peace amidst the gales of Bi-Polar Disorder.

Links and Resources on Bi-Polar Disorder

Strategies and techniques for overcoming the challenges associated with Bi-Polar Disorder are found throughout the many articles that are categorized on the left side of the page under "Categories," and can also be located under the "Tags" heading (click on any word in the tag cloud for a list of articles that are relevant to Bi-Polar Disorder).

Additionally, links and resources outside of this site are listed below, which you may find helpful:

  • CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

    CAMH operates central clinical and research facilities in Toronto. They also have 26 locations throughout the province of Ontario that provide communities with education and support for program development, health promotion and prevention. The main site in Toronto is:

    1001 Queen Street West and 30-60 White Squirrel Way (Queen and Ossington)

    M6J 1H4

    Tel: (416) 535-8501

    Designated Visitors Parking Area located off of Shaw Street.
    Paid Parking: Cash only

  • University of Massachusetts Medical Center
    Center for Mindfulness
    419 Belmont Ave. 2nd floor


    Tel: 508-856-2656
  • Mindfulness Meditation Practice CDs and Tapes

    Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D.,

    P.O. Box 547


  • Book: Full Catastrophe Living, by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., available at, Publisher: Delta (May 1 1990); ISBN-10: 0385303122; ISBN-13: 978-0385303125

  • (more links and resources to come)