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'I insisted that parents should wait together in a classroom because I tho ught they looked untidy in the playground'

The mood swings of manic depression, from elation to despair, can destroy lives. Teachers tell Nicki Household about their experiences.

When "high", a sufferer feels so omnipotent and uninhibited that their behaviour often becomes grandiose and despotic.

Carol Kremer, was acting head of a large inner London primary school when she had her first manic episode. "I decided to make instant sweeping changes to almost every aspect of school life," she recalls with embarrassment, "but my piece de resistance was when I insisted that parents who had arrived to collect their children before the end of school should all wait together in a spare classroom because I thought they looked untidy in the playground.

The problem was that there were 70 parents and the room only held 30, so it was like the black hole of Calcutta. Needless to say, there were complaints. " However, she continued with her job, although with difficulty, for another 14 years.

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