Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is the third most common mood disorder after major depression and dysthymic disorder. The disorder (a.k.a Manic-Depression) effects an estimated three million (or 1%) of people in the United States with severe manic-depression and 5-6 million with milder forms of the disorder. Which is approximately one out of every seven people. Women are twice as likely as a man to experience major depression, but men and women are equally likely to be affected by this illness. The onset of this disorder usually occurs between twenty and thirty years of age, with a second peak in the mid-forty’s for women. The majority of patients with bipolar disorder will experience significant symptoms before the age of twenty-five years (Suppes, Dennehy, Gibbons, 2000). The disorder is complicated by co-occurring alcohol or substance abuse. Without effective treatment, it leads to suicide in nearly 20% of cases, which is 30 times higher than the general population. 20-50% attempt suicid!
e at least once. Anxiety disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder, also may be common in people with bipolar disorder.
There are two types of this disorder: bipolar I and bipolar II. “Bipolar I is diagnosed when a person has a manic episode and has had no depressive episodes in the past. However, after thefirst manic episode occurs, depressive episodes often follow.People with Bipolar II have a depressed mood followed or preceded by a hypomanic episode. People with this type of bipolar disorder never have a full-blown manic episode. Because of this, Bipolar II sometimes goes unrecognized or is misdiagnosed as clinical depression” Most people (over 90%) with Bipolar I experience two or more manic episodes in their lifetimes.
It has been suspected that there is a strong genetic component to bipolar disorder, so it tends to run in families. For example, if one identical twin has the disorder there is an 80% chan…

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