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Bipolar disorder is a disorder in which your mood can become extremely high or low, with episodes lasting for days or weeks on end.

It affects one in 100 people and tends to begin later in adolescence, with symptoms usually starting between the ages of 15 and 19 in young people.

Celebrities like Demi Lovato have spoken publicly about bipolar disorder, and show that even if you’re affected by it, with the right treatment you can get on with life and continue doing the things you enjoy.

The symptoms of bipolar.


  • extreme mood swings

  • manic episodes, which can involve talking a lot, racing thoughts, over confidence and increased activity

  • low mood

  • difficulty concentrating

  • decreased energy

  • sleep problems - feeling like you hardly need sleep or having difficulty sleeping (insomnia)

  • reduced appetite

  • thoughts of self-harm

  • psychosis - if manic, this might consist of beliefs that you have special powers or abilities

The symptoms of bipolar disorder can come and go – they won’t necessarily be present all the time.

Just because you experience one or more of these symptoms, it doesn’t mean you definitely have bipolar disorder. It’s important to talk to your GP to get a full diagnosis.

What to do about bipolar

If you think you are affected by bipolar disorder, talk to your GP or school counsellor.

They may offer to refer you to an expert or a psychiatrist who can help you.

 Get help now 

Australia's largest crisis hotline

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Provide a safe space to discuss your worries, needs or concerns

Available 24/7, 365 days a year

Call service available at 13 11 14

Text service available at 0477 13 11 14​

Support for children and young people

Available 24/7, 365 days a year

Call service available at 1800 55 1800

Online text service

Online group help services

Australia's young person mental health crisis hotline

24/7 services

Call service available at 1300 22 4636

Chat online service

Email service

Australia-wide emergency service


Available in rural areas

For emergency use only

Ability to dispatch police, ambulance and fire

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