Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder, also known as Manic-Depressive Illness, consists of fluctuations between high, low, or irritable moods.  Some people may have mostly depression, while others have a combination of manic and depressive symptoms.  Manic symptoms include severe mood swings, unrealistic or grandiose self-esteem, excessive energy leading to little sleep, and rapid speech and movement.  Bipolar Disorder can begin in childhood and during the teenage years, although it is usually diagnosed in adult life.  The diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder in children and teens is complex and involves careful observation over an extended period of time.

Did you know…

that bipolar disorder can affect anyone at nearly any age?  In most cases, the disorder onsets in the mid-20s, but there have been instances of bipolar disorder affecting people during childhood or even as late as age 50.  The disorder does not discriminate between genders, ethnicities, or social classes, but a majority of people who are diagnosed as bipolar seem to have a genetic predisposition to the disease.  Altogether, the National Institute of Mental Health estimates that approximately 5.7 million American adults have bipolar disorder.

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