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Mood Swings
Being bipolar wreaks havoc with your life. You usually think of improvement, whether that be during recovery or just building in general, as being a continual movement in a positive direction. This progression is usually labeled moving "up" in the world, or moving closer to your objective or goal.

I know everyone has ups and downs and setbacks. We aren't referring to those here. Manic depression is also known as bipolar disorder because a person's mood can alternate between the "poles" of mania (high, elevated mood) and depression (low, depressed mood). This change in the mood or "mood swing" can last for hours, days, weeks, or even months.

Little Continuity
For those who suffer from bipolar disorder, there is little continuity or consistency. There may be improvement and upward movement as a trend over a period of time. But in the here-and-now, in day-to-day living, it seems like for every step forward we take, two steps backward are soon to follow.

When manic, we start to build things, make plans, and begin projects. When we are depressed, we are too tired to care, too fuzzy-minded to follow through, and too confused to have any idea what it really is we are after. When down, I can’t comprehend "up", and vice versa. Irritability and agitation may be seen in any mood level.

Frustrated Progress
Through this frustration we may subconsciously, and possibly even knowingly, sabotage the momentum that had been won during the previous manic episode. Regardless of whether we contribute to this "break in the flow", it will happen one way or the other. Damage to progress is inevitable under these circumstances.