Bipolar Disorder is a mental illness in which a person’s mood alternates between extreme mania and depression. Bipolar disorder is also called manic-depressive illness. In a related disorder called cyclothymic disorder (sometimes called Bipolar III), a person’s mood alternates between mild depression and mild mania. Some people with cyclothymic disorder later develop full-blown bipolar disorder. Rates of bipolar disorder are similar throughout the world. At least fifteen percent of people with bipolar disorder commit suicide. Bipolar disorder is much less common than depression. Many people with bipolar disorder function normally between episodes. Medications known as “mood stabilizers” are usually prescribed by psychiatrists to help control bipolar disorder. In general, people with bipolar disorder continue treatment with mood stabilizers for extended periods of time. One of the most important thing family and friends can do for a person with bipolar disorder is learn about the illness. Never ignore remarks about suicide. It is important to note that most people with bipolar disorder—even those with the most severe forms can achieve substantial stabilization of their mood swings and related symptoms with proper treatment.
Bipolar Disorder is a mental illness in which a person’s mood alternates between extreme mania and depression. Bipolar disorder is also called manic-depressive illness. When manic, individuals with bipolar disorder feel intensely elated, self-important, energetic, and irritable. When depressed, these individuals experience painful sadness, negative thinking, and indifference to things that used to bring them happiness
Bipolar disorder is much less common than depression. In North America and Europe, about one percent of people experience bipolar disorder during their lives (J). Rates of bipolar disorder are similar throughout the world. In comparison, at least eight percent of people experience serious depression during their lives. Bipolar disorder affects men and women about equally and is somewhat more common in higher socioeconomic classes. At least fifteen percent of people with bipolar disorder commit suicide. This rate roughly equals the rate for people with major depression, the most severe form of depression (E).
Some research suggests that highly creative people—such as artists, composers, writers, and poets—s...
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(N) Thase M. E., Sachs G. S. (2000). Bipolar depression: pharmacotherapy and related therapeutic strategies. Biological Psychiatry, 48(6): 558-72.
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