One type of mental illness is Bipolar Disorder. It is also often referred to as Manic Depressive Disorder. This illness is characterized by wide mood swings, ranging from a deep depression to a very high energy state called mania.

The exact symptoms of bipolar disorder vary from person to person. Some individuals mainly experience depression. Others mainly experience mania. Some individuals frequently experience both extremes.

Signs and symptoms of a manic phase can include euphoria, inflated self-esteem, poor judgment, rapid speech, racing thoughts, agitation, spending sprees, decreased need for sleep, and/or difficulty concentrating.

Signs and symptoms of the depressive phase can include feelings of sadness, hopelessness, guilt, anxiety, fatigue, loss of interest in activities once considered enjoyable, problems concentrating, irritability, and/or chronic pain without a known cause.

The symptoms caused by a Bipolar Disorder can be extreme and make it impossible to sustain work activity. This is a serious illness, and it is very important to obtain professional treatment if you suffer from this illness. An excellent article that discusses Bipolar Disorder in more detail can be found on the Mayo clinic website at

If you suffer from a Bipolar Disorder and are considering filing for disability, I have a few suggestions.

1. Seek professional treatment. I am surprised by the number of people who contact me seeking disability due to a bipolar disorder who have little or no history of mental health treatment.

2. Give professional treatment time to be effective. Even though this illness is very serious, effective medical treatment can enable many people to live productive and happy lives.

3. Avoid engaging in behavior that harms yourself, or harms others. Due to the wild mood swings associated with this illness, many bipolar individuals fail to exercise good judgment. Many of my bipolar clients have a history of drug or alcohol abuse. A history of drug abuse or criminal activity makes it especially difficult to obtain disability benefits.

This illness is too complex to adequately address in a single article. If you suffer from a bipolar disorder and are considering disability benefits, feel free to contact me for a free consultation.