bipolar disorder

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bipolar disorder,


manic-depressive disorder



severe mental disorder involving manic episodes that are usually accompanied by episodes of depressiondepression,
in psychiatry, a symptom of mood disorder characterized by intense feelings of loss, sadness, hopelessness, failure, and rejection. The two major types of mood disorder are unipolar disorder, also called major depression, and bipolar disorder, whose sufferers are
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. The term "manic-depression" was introduced by the German psychiatrist Emil KraepelinKraepelin, Emil
, 1856–1926, German psychiatrist, educated at Würzburg (M.D., 1878). He also studied under Wilhelm Wundt in Leipzig, and was appointed professor of psychiatry at the Univ.
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 in 1896. The manic phase of the disorder is characterized by an abnormally elevated or irritable mood, grandiosity, sleeplessness, extravagance, and a tendency toward irrational judgment. During the depressed phase, the person tends to appear lethargic and withdrawn, shows a lack of concentration, and expresses feelings of worthlessness, self-blame, and guilt. This dual character of the disorder has given it the name bipolar disorder, in contrast to the unipolar depression symptomatic of the majority of mood disorders. The symptoms range in intensity and pattern and may not be recognized at first. Individuals suffering from bipolar disorder may have long periods in their lives without episodes of mania or depression, but manic-depressives have the highest suicide rate of any group with a psychological disorder.


Estimates suggest that about 2 million Americans suffer from bipolar disorders. Symptoms usually appear in adolescence or early adulthood and continue throughout life. The disorder occurs in males and females equally and is found more frequently in close relatives of people already known to have it.. It has had notable incidence among creative individuals, affecting such artists as Hector Berlioz, Gustav Mahler, Ernest Hemingway, and Virginia Woolf.


Therapy includes lithiumlithium
[Gr.,=stone], metallic chemical element; symbol Li; at. no. 3; interval in which at. wt. ranges 6.938–6.997; m.p. about 180.54°C;; b.p. about 1,342°C;; sp. gr. .534 at 20°C;; valence +1. Lithium is a soft, silver-white metal.
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 (to control mania and stabilize mood swings), anticonvulsant drugs such as valproate and carbamazepine, and antidepressantsantidepressant,
any of a wide range of drugs used to treat psychic depression. They are given to elevate mood, counter suicidal thoughts, and increase the effectiveness of psychotherapy.
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. Electroconvulsive therapyelectroconvulsive therapy
in psychiatry, treatment of mood disorders by means of electricity; the broader term "shock therapy" also includes the use of chemical agents. The therapeutic possibilities of these treatments were discovered in the 1930s by Manfred Sakel, a Polish
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 has been useful in cases where other treatments have had little success. Psychotherapy can provide support to the patient and the family.


See F. K. Goodwin and K. R. Jamison, Manic-Depressive Illness (1990); D. Healy, Mania: A Short History of Bipolar Disorder (2011); publications of the National Institute of Mental Health.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

bipolar disorder

[bī′pō·lər dis′ȯrd·ər]
A major affective disorder in which there are episodes of both mania and depression. Also known as manic-depressive illness.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
However, a 7 1/2-year follow-up of formerly hospitalized manic depressives shows that about 40 percent of those receiving lithium, sometimes combined with other treatments, continue to experience marked emotional highs and lows, as well as serious problems at work and home.
It was Coltart himself who revealed that he was a manic depressive.
I was like a manic depressive at one point on Tuesday.
Manic depressive Hancock shot to fame on radio in the 50s and became a TV star before he committed suicide in a Sydney hotel room in 1968 at 44.
* Many people receiving treatment also benefit from joining mutual support groups such as those sponsored by the National Depressive and Manic Depressive Association (NDMDA), the National Alliance for Mentally Ill (NAMI), and the National Mental Health Association.
Comedian Stephen Fry spoke frankly about his experiences of bipolar disorder in the two-part BBC documentary Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive.
Meanwhile, the only sign of a manic depressive's illness is her broad-brushed pattern of self-harm (The Line of Beauty, BBC2, Wednesday).
pounds 4m for a bag of flarn from a manic depressive to an upper class twit?
The kidney failure is the latest in a series of health problems to afflict the veteran comedian, a manic depressive who has suffered a dozen mental breakdowns.
Manic depressive Allott, aged 28, of Old Milverton Lane, was convicted of two charges of manslaughter at Warwick Crown Court in February and ordered to be detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act.
Stephen Fry's The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive won best documentary and Little Britain Abroad was named best comedy.
Boyle, who is manic depressive, had not taken her medication for several months before killing husband Thomas on July 14.