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Bipolar Disorder (cont.)

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What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder, also called manic depression, is a mental illness that is characterized by severe mood swings, repeated episodes of depression, and at least one episode of mania. Bipolar disorder is one kind of mood disorder that afflicts more than 1% of adults in the United States, up to as many as 4 million people. Here are some additional statistics about bipolar disorder:

  • Bipolar disorder is the fifth leading cause of disability worldwide.
  • Bipolar disorder is the ninth leading cause of years lost to death or disability worldwide.
  • The number of individuals with bipolar disorder who commit suicide is 60 times higher than that of the general population.
  • People who have bipolar disorder are at a higher risk of also suffering from substance abuse and other mental health problems.
  • Males may develop bipolar disorder earlier in life compared to females.
  • Blacks are sometimes diagnosed more often with bipolar disorder compared to whites.

What is the history of bipolar disorder?

This disease was formally conceptualized by Emil Kraeplin more than 100 years ago, at which time he described it as manic-depressive insanity. However, mood problems that include depression alternating with symptoms that are now understood to be manic have been referenced in history as long ago as 200 A.D. At that time, this illness, like unipolar depression, was thought to be the result of bad blood, called black bile. In the 19th century, this illness was referred to by terms like biphasic illness, circular insanity, and dual-form insanity. Despite such unfortunate terminology for this disease, bipolar disorder is also known to be associated with significant achievement in some individuals. Many historical figures and current luminaries suffer from this disorder, whose creativity and accomplishments can therefore be an inspiration for current sufferers of bipolar disorder.


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Bipolar Disorder (Mania) - Effective Treatments Question: What kinds of treatments have been effective for your bipolar disorder (mania)?
Bipolar Disorder - Symptoms Question: What symptoms do you experience with your bipolar disorder?
Bipolar Disorder - Causes and Risks Question: Were you at risk for developing bipolar disorder? Please share your story.
Bipolar Disorder - Diagnosis Question: What tests and assessments led to a diagnosis of bipolar disorder in you or a relative?
Bipolar Disorder - Support Question: What forms of support have helped you or a relative who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder?
Bipolar Disorder - Types Question: Describe your type of bipolar disorder, along with your symptoms and treatment.
Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/bipolar_disorder/article.htm

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