bipolar disorder


bipolar disorder
an affective disorder characterized by periods of mania alternating with periods of depression, usually interspersed with relatively long intervals of normal mood. Formerly, manic-depressive illness.

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or manic-depressive psychosis

Mental illness characterized by the alternation of manic and depressive states.

Depression is the more common symptom, and many patients experience only a brief period of overoptimism and mild euphoria during the manic phase. The condition, which seems to be inheritable, probably arises from malregulation of the amines norepinephrine, dopamine, and 5-hydroxytryptamine. It is most commonly treated with lithium carbonate.

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formerly called  manic depression or manic-depressive illness 

      mental disorder characterized by severe and recurrent depression or mania with abrupt or gradual onsets and recoveries. The states of mania and depression may alternate cyclically, one mood state may predominate over the other, or they may be mixed or combined with each other.

      A bipolar person in the depressive phase (depression) may be sad, despondent, listless, lacking in energy, and unable to show interest in his surroundings or to enjoy himself and may have a poor appetite and disturbed sleep. The depressive state can be agitated—in which case sustained tension, overactivity, despair, and apprehensive delusions predominate—or it can be retarded—in which case the person's activity is slowed and reduced, he is sad and dejected, and he suffers from self-depreciatory and self-condemnatory tendencies. mania is a mood disturbance that is characterized by abnormally intense excitement, elation, expansiveness, boisterousness, talkativeness, distractibility, and irritability. The manic person talks loudly, rapidly, and continuously and progresses rapidly from one topic to another; is extremely enthusiastic, optimistic, and confident; is highly sociable and gregarious; gesticulates and moves about almost continuously; is easily irritated and easily distracted; is prone to grandiose notions; and shows an inflated sense of self-esteem. The most extreme manifestations of these two mood disturbances are, in the manic phase, violence against others and, in the depressive, suicide. A bipolar disorder may also feature such psychotic symptoms as delusions (delusion) and hallucinations (hallucination). Depression is the more common symptom, and many patients never develop a genuine manic phase, although they may experience a brief period of overoptimism and mild euphoria while recovering from a depression.

      Bipolar disorders of varying severity affect about 1 percent of the general population and account for 10 to 15 percent of readmissions to mental institutions. Statistical studies have suggested a hereditary predisposition to bipolar disorder, and this predisposition has now been linked to a defect on a dominant gene located on chromosome 11. In a physiological sense, it is believed that bipolar disorder is caused by the faulty regulation of one or more naturally occurring amines (amine) at sites in the brain where the transmission of nerve impulses takes place; a deficiency of the amines results in depression, and an excess of them causes mania. The most likely candidates for the suspect amines are norepinephrine (epinephrine and norepinephrine), dopamine, and 5-hydroxytryptamine. The ingestion of lithium carbonate (lithium) on a long-term basis has been found effective in alleviating or even eliminating the symptoms of many persons with bipolar disorder.

      Bipolar disorder was described in antiquity by the 2nd-century Greek physician Aretaeus Of Cappadocia and definitively in modern times by the German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin (Kraepelin, Emil).

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Universalium. 2010.

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