Bipolar disorder: Factfile
Thursday 14 April 2011
Bipolar disorder has leapt into the headlines after Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones checked into a mental health clinic for treatment for the condition.
Zeta-Jones's representative said on Wednesday she was receiving therapy for "bipolar II," one of several categories for the disorder.
Following is a factfile:
- Previously known as manic depression, bipolar disorder describes mood swings that can range from very low (severe depression) to very high (severe mania). The swings may occur a few times a year or as often as several times a day.
- Between one and two percent of the general population may be afflicted, with men and women in equal numbers.
- In the "up" phase, symptoms may include euphoria, restlessness, gabbled speech, extreme irritability, lack of concentration, aggressive or risky behaviour, substance abuse and increased sexual drive.
- In the "down" phase, symptoms may include a feeling of emptiness or hopelessness, lack of self-worth, poor appetite, chronic fatigue, forgetfulness and suicidal thoughts.
- The disorder is divided into several subtypes, depending on the severity and frequency of the mood:
- Bipolar I: Characterised especially by severe manic episodes that can be dangerous and damage relationships or disrupt life at school or work.
- Bipolar II: A milder form in which mood swings are not so severe, nor is the impact on daily life. Instead of full-blown mania, the patient goes through episodes of "hypomania," which is not so extreme. Periods of depression typically last longer than spells of hypomania.
- Cyclothymia: Milder still than Bipolar I and II. Episodes of hypomania and depression whose highs and lows are less severe and less disruptive.
- Suspected causes of bipolar disorder include an imbalance in hormones or in brain chemicals called neurotransmitters; traumatic events or stress that trigger a bipolar episode; and genetic inheritance (studies have shown that the disorder is more common among people with a bipolar blood relative).
- Diagnosis of bipolar disorders is complex and sometimes may take years to pin down. Treatment often involves taking mood-changing drugs, supported by longer-term counselling by psychologists, social workers or psychiatric nurses.
- Famous people who may have been bipolar include Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Vincent Van Gogh, Friedrich Nietzsche, Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf and Charles Baudelaire.
SOURCES: Mayo Clinic (MayoClinic.com); British mental health charity Mind (mind.org.uk); http://www.troubles-bipolaires.com/
Life & Style blogs
Max power: Nine ways to make your everyday meals more flavourful
Amputee drummer gains 'superhuman' skills with robotic arm
Fenwicks department store withdraws Boy London clothing over 'Nazi' eagle logo complaints
Stevia wonder: The plant that's a super sugar alternative – and free from calories and carbs
International Women's Day 2014: Google makes 80 second video of inspirational women from across the world for animated Doodle
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 2 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 3 Singapore sting: Sky-high prices are pushing locals to the edge of affordability
- 4 Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role because late wife Natasha Richardson said she wouldn't marry him if he took it
- 5 Dead woman's body found sitting in a car after six years after direct debits ran $54,000 bank account dry
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: A small but growing chain of boutique hot...
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: The company works with Tier 1 FTSE 100 Ba...
£45 - 60k Per Annum: Charter Selection: Highly profitable leisure brand, marke...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Residenti...