Females in Combat
Bipolar Disorder Overview
Bipolar disorder (BD) is a type of mood disorder. Bipolar disorder was called manic depression in the past, and that term is still used by some people. It is a psychiatric illness that causes major disruptions in lifestyle and health.
Everyone has occasional highs and lows in their moods. But people with bipolar disorder have extreme mood swings. They can go from feeling very sad, despairing, helpless, worthless, and hopeless depression to feeling as if they are on top of the world, hyperactive, creative, and grandiose (mania).
Most people start showing signs of bipolar disorder in their late teens (the average age of onset is 20 years). These signs may be dismissed as "growing pains" or normal teenage behavior. Bipolar disorder may not be properly diagnosed until the sufferer is 25-40 years old, at which time the symptoms may become clearer.
Bipolar disorder occurs in both men and women. About 2.3 million people in the United States have the disorder.
Because of the extreme and risky behavior that goes with bipolar disorder, it is very important that the disorder be identified. With proper and early diagnosis, this mental condition can be treated.
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