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Bipolar Disorder also known as manic depression is a medical illness that affects how a person acts thinks and feels It is identified by periodic episodes of mania highs and depression lows usually with periods of normal mood in between these episodes An affected persons mood can range from an excessive high to a profound hopelessness The mood episodes can last for a few days or for as long as several months There are different types of this disorder depending on the pattern and severity of the episodes Most individuals with bipolar disorder experience their first mood episode while in adolescence however some do not until after their twenties Symptoms of Mania and Depression Mania is a period of at least one week when a persons mood is abnormally euphoric or irritable A manic episode represents a change from normal functioning that often interferes with work and relationships Many times a person experiencing a manic episode requires hospitalization to return them to normal functioning Symptoms of mania may include increased energy excessive euphoria uncharacteristically poor judgment excessive risk-taking behavior and denial that anything is wrong A manic episode also includes three or more of the following inflated self-esteem an individual may see them self as overly important or invincible decreased need for sleep an individual may get only a few hours of sleep or go for days without sleep and feel refreshed and energetic extremely talkativepressured speech speech becomes loud fast and difficult to interrupt distractibility an individual may have trouble concentrating on any one task or may be unable to carry on a logical conversation for any length of time racing thoughtsflight of ideas conversations may switch from topic to topic with loose connections between topics excessive involvement in pleasurable activities may spend more than they have or experience hypersexuality- sexual behavior that is excessive and unusual for the individual increase in goal- directed behavior the individual may begin many different
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