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The phenomenon of Bipolar Affective Disorder has been a mystery since the16thand 17th century The Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh was thought to of sufferedfrombipolar disorder It appears that there are an abundance of people with thedisorder yetno true causes or cures for the disorder Clearly the Bipolar disorder severelyunderminestheir ability to obtain and sustain social and occupational success Howeverthe journeyfor the causes and cures for the Bipolar disorder must continue Affective disorders are primarily characterized by depressedmood elevatedmood or mania or alternations of depressed and elevated moods The classicalterm ismanic-depressive illness a newer term is Bipolar disorder The two areinterchangeable Milder forms of a depressive syndrome are called dysthymic disorder mildforms ofmania are hypomania and the milder expressions of Bipolar disorder arecalledcyclothymic disorders The use of the term primary affective disorder refersto theindividuals who had no previous psychiatric disorders or else only episodesof mania ordepression Secondary affective disorder refers to patients with preexistingpsychiatricillness other than depression or mania Goodwin Guze 1989 p7 Bipolar affective disorder affects approximately one percentor three millionpersons in the United States afflicting both males and females Bipolardisorder involvesepisodes of mania and depression The manic episodes are characterized byelevated orirritable mood increased energy decreased need for sleep poor judgmentand insightand often reckless or irresponsible behavior Hollandsworth Jr 1990 These episodesmay alternate with profound depressions characterized by a pervasive sadnessalmostinability to move hopelessness and disturbances in appetite sleep inconcentrations anddriving Bipolar disorder is diagnosed if an episode of mania occurswhether depressionhas been diagnosed or not Goodwin Guze 1989 p 11 Most commonlyindividualswith manic episodes experience a period of depression Mood is either elatedexpansiveor irritable hyperactivity pressure of speech flight of ideas inflatedself esteemdecreased need for sleep distractibility and excessive involvement inactivities with highpotential for painful consequences Rarest symptoms were periods of lossof all interestand retardation or agitation Weisman 1991 As the National Depressive and Manic Depressive AssociationMDMDA hasdemonstrated bipolar disorder can create substantial developmental delaysmarital andfamily disruptions occupational setbacks and financial
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