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Home > Bipolar Disorder > Quick Facts
Bipolar Disorder, Once Known as Manic-Depressive Disorder

"Manic-depression distorts moods and thoughts, incites dreadful behaviors, destroys the basis of rational thought, and too often erodes the desire and will to live. It is an illness that is biological in its origins, yet one that feels psychological in the experience of it; an illness that is unique in conferring advantage and pleasure, yet one that brings in its wake almost unendurable suffering and, not infrequently, suicide."
"I am fortunate that I have not died from my illness, fortunate in having received the best medical care available, and fortunate in having the friends, colleagues, and family that I do."
Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D., An Unquiet Mind, 1995, p. 6.
Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in a person's mood, energy, and ability to function. Different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through, the symptoms of bipolar disorder are severe. Bipolar disorder should be regarded as a spectrum of emotions ranging from extreme depression to extreme happiness or mania. The individual can range from being severely depressed, to moderately depressed, to feeling what is usually termed "the blues" when it is short-lived but is termed "dysthymia" when it is chronic. Then comes normal or balanced mood, above which comes hypomania (mild to moderate mania), and then severe mania. For some people symptoms of mania and depression can even occur simultaneously, referred to as a mixed bipolar state. This often includes agitation, trouble sleeping, significant change and appetite, psychosis and suicidal thinking. A person may be very sad and hopeless but feel energized at the same time. The combination of these symptoms can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide. But there is good news: bipolar disorder can be treated, and people with this illness can lead full and productive lives.

 
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Quick Facts
More than 2 million American adults, or about 1 percent of the population age 18 and older in any given year have bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder typically develops in late adolescence or early adulthood. However, some people develop symptoms during childhood and some develop them late in life.
Bipolar disorder is often not recognized as an illness and many people suffer for years before they are properly diagnosed and treated.
This disorder, like heart disease and diabetes, is a long-term illness that must be carefully managed throughout a person's life.
A good majority of people with bipolar disorder are symptom free, but as many as one-third of people have some residual symptoms.
There is a small percentage of people experience chronic unremitting symptoms despite treatment.
Depression
Bipolar Disorder
Anxiety Disorders
Panic Disorders
Obsessive Disorder
PTSD
Schizophrenia
Social Phobia
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