Bipolar disorder: A summary of clinical issues and treatment options

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Bipolar disorder is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States, affecting a minimum of 2 million people in the country (CenterSite, 2000). This disorder is also commonly known as manic-depression. People with this disorder experience mood swings, from mania characterized by elation or irritability, to depression as characterized by sadness and hopelessness.


Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments [CANMAT], 1997). Bipolar I and II disorders are the most common of these types.
Bipolar I disorder is considered as one of the most severe mental disorders, and has around 15% risk of death by suicide if the illness remains untreated (Long, 2005). People with bipolar I disorder exhibit mood swings from full mania to major depression. During episodes of mania, the person is oblivious of risks and would engage in dangerous behaviors such as violence, substance abuse and sexual promiscuity (Griswold & Pessar, 2000). Bipolar II disorder is characterized by recurring episodes of major depression and hypomania, a state in which the person shows a high level of energy, excessive moodiness or irritability, and impulsive or reckless behavior (CenterSite, 2001).
Studies suggest that bipolar disorder is usually hereditary. ...
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