To be creative, energetic and gregarious – these are the things to which many of us aspire. Although some are lucky enough to display them naturally, the majority of us have to work to develop them as best we can. But what if your episodes of productivity, creativity and energy signify an episode of mental ill-health? For many people with bipolar disorder, this is precisely the case. Formerly referred to as “manic depression”, bipolar disorder is characterised by fluctuations in mood. Episodes of depression – often marked by sadness, lethargy and hopelessness – can be followed by periods of elation.