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Links to our Bipolar Support Group & Information

Bipolar Disorder, Manic Depression Introduction

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What is Bipolar Disorder?


Bipolar Disorder, also known as Manic-Depression or Manic Depressive Illness. Bipolar Disorder is a mental illness and can have a devastating impact on many people, not just the survivor of the disorder, but family members and friends as well.  People diagnosed with this illness sometimes find it to be very devastating, and extremely disruptive and distressing.

Bipolar Disorder involves episodes of mania, sometimes severe, sometimes not so severe, and then depression.  The person diagnosed with this disorder can have very severe mood swings.  One minute they can be very "high" and the next they can become very irritated and angry, and suddenly become sad and withdrawn.  Some have even said that they have periods of feeling normal between the other moods they describe.

Signs of Bipolar Disorder can sometimes be seen at a young age and into early adulthood and it continues throughout life. Some have said having Bipolar Disorder seemed like a way of life, so they didn't really feel that they had a problem, Bipolar was just something they felt they had to learn to deal with, and not knowing they even had a disorder at all.  Instead of seeking help, they suffered needlessly for years, and some most of their lives before seeking help.

There are effective treatments available to help alleviate the symptoms of Bipolar Disorder and can help a person suffering from Bipolar and stop devastating complications caused by this Disorder. 

Family members, spouse, friends, and co-workers have to learn to cope with serious behavioral problems that accompany Bipolar Disorder in many cases.  It is hard for the survivor of disorders such as Bipolar to seek help because in most cases, as mentioned above, Bipolar is not really seen as a problem until diagnosed.  Some of the behavioral problems accompanying Bipolar Disorder could be spending sprees that cause financial problems for spouse and/or family members, problems in marriage resulting in break-ups, problems with dating, job losses, alcohol and drug abuse, and suicide.


Men and woman are equally likely to develop Bipolar Disorder, many artists, writers, musicians and actors have this disorder and have learned to cope with it in many ways.  Some have Bipolar without even realizing they have it, but many lives are ruined by this disorder and if left untreated Bipolar Disorder can, and does become worse.  Bipolar can lead to suicide in approximately 20 percent of cases.

Manic Depressive Illness, Manic Depression, also known as Bipolar Disorder, a serious brain disease that causes extreme mood shifts, energy and functioning affects approximately 2.3 million adult Americans, which is about one percent of the population.  Bipolar Disorder can be mentally crippling if gone untreated, and in some cases, even people who have gone through treatment find it difficult to function in everyday life because symptoms of Bipolar Disorder are so severe. 

Bipolar Disorder or Manic Depression is different from moods that many people have in their lives.  Normal states of happiness and sadness are not what someone who has Bipolar experiences.  The symptoms of Manic Depressive Disorder can be severe and life threatening. Manic-Depressive Illness symptoms can start showing at an early age and into early adulthood and will continue to cause problems through the course of life. It can disrupt normal life activities, destroy work, school, relationships, family and social life.

It is believed that Bipolar Disorder can be inherited in many cases. Despite vigorous efforts in research, a specific reason or defect associated with Bipolar Disorder has not yet been found.

It is very important to get a proper diagnosis when you are seeking help and treatment for Manic Depressive Illness.  Children as young as 12 years old and even younger have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. The diagnosis of Bipolar disorder has also been confused with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in some cases, so seeking careful and thorough diagnosis is a must.  Medication to treat each of these illnesses is different and will have different results. 

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