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
Men in crop tops seem to be trending thanks to Kid Cudi, the social media and the catwalk
What is ALS and the Ice Bucket Challenge?
Greggs Google fail: bakery chain falls afoul of search engine's algorithms with 'unofficial' logo
Anal sex study reveals climate of 'coercion'
Is this the end of apps? New research says a third of us don't bother to download
- 1 The way the police have treated Cliff Richard is completely unacceptable
- 2 Michael Brown shooting: Amnesty International sends team within US for first time as National Guard deployed
- 3 Michael Brown shooting: Ferguson police shoot and kill second young black man
- 4 James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – and warns Obama of more to come
- 5 Reading Festival 2014: Tesco branch replaces salad and potatoes for Jagermeister and vodka
Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - ASSET FINANCE - An outstanding...
£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350 - £400 per ...
£16 - £17 per hour: Ashdown Group: Marketing & PR Assistant - Kentish Town are...
£50000 - £60000 Per Annum + excellent company benefits: Clearwater People Solu...