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Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder Bipolar Disorder is "an affective disorder that is characterized by at least one episode of mania formerly referred to as manic depression" (Ingram 723). It affects one percent of people throughout the world and knows no ethnic or status boundaries. In the United States, it is estimated that over two million people suffer from this incurable but treatable disorder. Bipolar disorder usually begins to show itself in males in their early twenties. Women however, typically may not exhibit any signs or symptoms until they reach their mid to upper thirties. Bipolar Disorder is characterized by stages of mania and depression. Both the manic phase and the depressive phase are extreme and often disabling. They do not occur in equal amounts, but are very unpredictable and of varying length. They can also occur at the same time. When this happens, it is called mixed states. "Usually the earlier in life bipolar disorder appears, the more difficult will be its lifetime course unless there is active treatment over many years to minimize the risk of recurrence" (Francis 61). People without bipolar disorder may think hypomania sounds like fun after hearing that it causes a euphoric or high feeling. Actually there is more to it than that. Some of the other symptoms associated with the manic episodes are high irritability, poor judgmental skills, and racing thoughts. Others are inability to concentrate, pressured speech, grandiose ideas, and inability to sleep. Some other reported symptoms are an increased sex drive and being easily distracted. "When mania strikes, the bipolar person often exhibits full flights of fancy, you will notice a pre-emptive ability to argue aggressively and passionately for an intellectual position" (FyrenIyce). During this time the bipolar, will accomplish a lot of work with little or no sleep. They become impatient when they think others are moving too slowly and will have illus…

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