Essay on Bipolar Disorder

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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
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Critics of this research note that many creative people do not suffer from bipolar disorder, and that most people with bipolar disorder are not especially creative (E).

Bipolar disorder usually begins in a person’s late teens or twenties. Men usually experience mania as the first mood episode, whereas women typically experience depression first (E). Episodes of mania and depression usually last from several weeks to several months. On average, people with untreated bipolar disorder experience four episodes of mania or depression over any ten-year period. Many people with bipolar disorder function normally between episodes. In rapid-cycling bipolar disorder, however, which represents five to fifteen percent of all cases, a person experiences four or more mood episodes within a year and may have little or no normal functioning in between episodes (H). In rare cases, swings between mania and depression can occur over a period of days or hours. The term ultra-rapid cycling may be applied to those who cycle through episodes within a month or less. If this pattern is demonstrated within a twenty-four hour period, the person's diagnosis could possibly be phrased ultra-ultra-rapid cycling or ultradian.

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