Bipolar disorder or manic-depressive disorder, also referred to as bipolar affective disorder or manic depression, is a psychiatric diagnosis that describes a category of mood disorders defined by the presence of one or more episodes of abnormally elevated energy levels, cognition, and mood with or without one or more depressive episodes. The elevated moods are clinically referred to as mania or, if milder, hypomania. Individuals who experience manic episodes also commonly experience depressive episodes, or symptoms, or mixed episodes in which features of both mania and depression are present at the same time. These episodes are usually separated by periods of "normal" mood; but, in some individuals, depression and mania may rapidly alternate, which is known as rapid cycling. Extreme manic episodes can sometimes lead to such psychotic symptoms as delusions and hallucinations.
The causes are substantial genetic contribution, as well as environmental influence.
Bipolar disorder is a disease that on present times affects 2% of the world's population. However, it is treatable today.
"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."
— Kay Redfield Jamison
* sadness and fatigue
* loss of interest in activities
* changes in sleeping and eating patterns
* difficulty concentrating
* feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness
* thoughts of death or suicide
* sudden euphoria or rage
* inflated self-steem
* racing thoughts
* decreased need for sleep
* preoccupation with irrelevant matters
* reckless behavior
* psychotic symptoms (delusions; hallucinations)
"I'm fine, but I'm bipolar. I'm on seven medications, and I take medication three times a day. This constantly puts me in touch with the illness I have. I'm never quite allowed to be free of that for a day. It's like being a diabetic."
- Carrie Fisher: actress, screenwriter and novelist who is most famous for her portrayal as Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy. Famous for speaking openly about her battles with bipolar disorder, Carrie contributed to the award-winning Stephen Fry documentary 'The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive'.
* From the club creator: I started to treat my Bipolar Disorder at age 16 and almost needed to be hospitalized. Today I no longer suffer severe manic or depressive episodes neither psychotic symptoms, but need constant medication. I only use medication though, no therapy.
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Created: Apr 15, 2011
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