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BiPolar DisorderThe phenomenon of Bipolar Affective Disorder has been a mystery since the 16th and 17th century The Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh was thought to of suffered from bipolar disorder It appears that there are an abundance of people with the disorder yet no true causes or cures for the disorder Clearly the Bipolar disorder severely undermines their ability to obtain and sustain social and occupational success However the journey for the causes and cures for the Bipolar disorder must continue Affective DisordersAffective disorders are primarily characterized by depressed mood elevated mood or mania or alternations of depressed and elevated moods The classical term is manic-depressive illness a newer term is Bipolar disorder The two are interchangeable Milder forms of a depressive syndrome are called dysthymic disorder mild forms of mania are hypomania and the milder expressions of Bipolar disorder are called cyclothymic disorders The use of the term primary affective disorder refers to the individuals who had no previous psychiatric disorders or else only episodes of mania or depression Secondary affective disorder refers to patients with preexisting psychiatric illness other than depression or mania Goodwin Guze 1989 p7 DemographicsBipolar affective disorder affects approximately one percent or three million persons in the United States afflicting both males and females Bipolar disorder involves episodes of mania and depression The manic episodes are characterized by elevated or irritable mood increased energy decreased need for sleep poor judgment and insight and often reckless or irresponsible behavior Hollandsworth Jr 1990 These episodes may alternate with profound depressions characterized by a pervasive sadness almost inability to move hopelessness and disturbances in appetite sleep in concentrations and driving SymptomsBipolar disorder is diagnosed if an episode of mania occurs whether depression has been diagnosed or not Goodwin Guze 1989 p 11 Most commonly individuals with manic episodes experience a period of depression Mood is either elated expansive or irritable hyperactivity pressure of speech flight of ideas inflated self esteem
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