A Look at Bipolar Disorder

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Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is more than just ordinary mood swings. People suffer from periods of mania to periods of depression. Bipolar disorder is a significant medical condition that is a great health interest in America (Hopkins Medicine). The number of people being diagnosed with bipolar disorder increases every year; therefore, the importance of education and understanding of this disorder also increases because it can affect so many people’s lives. According to Johns Hopkins medicine, manic depression affects more than 5.7 million American adults--or about 2.6 percent of Americans age 18 and older in a given year. Both sexes are affected equally. Bipolar disorder does not discriminate against race, ethnicity, or social class. Adolescence or early adulthood is when bipolar disorder normally begins, with 25 being the average age. Although researchers have not yet identified the gene, it is believed to be hereditary and likely runs in the family (Hopkins Medicine). The precise cause of bipolar disorder is not known, but there are a few components that to may lead to bipolar episodes. Experts believe bipolar people have biological changes in their brain and an imbalance in brain chemicals (neurotransmitters). Hormone imbalance is also believed to be a cause of episodes. People that have a blood relative with bipolar disorder have a greater chance of also being bipolar. When someone has a stressful, abusive event, or has suffered a great loss may also trigger bipolar (WebMD). Symptoms of bipolar disorder can vary from mild to severe. The symptoms of mania consist of mood changes such as periods of feeling “high” or exceedingly happy and outgoing while also being agitated. People suffering from mania ... ... middle of paper ... ...y/conditions/adult/mental_health_disorders/manic_depressionbipolar_disorder_85,P00743/>. Johnston, Janice. ABC 20/20. 21 April 2011. 1 April 2012 . Mayo Clinic Staff. Mayo Clinic. 18 January 2012. 31 March 2012 . National Institute of Mental Health. NIMH. n.d. 24 March 2012 . Russell, Peter. WebMD Health News. 14 April 2011. 1 April 2012 . Torrey, E. Fuller and Michael B. Knable. Surviving Manic Depression. New York: Basic Books, 2002. WebMD. WebMD. n.d. 24 March 2012 .

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