Gay Men with Bipolar Disorder, A Yahoo! Club, was founded on the need to communicate experiences and ideas between men who are both gay and bipolar. More about being gay and bipolar...

A Simple Charter

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depressive illness, is a common illness characterised by recurrent episodes of mania and major depression. An affected personís mood can swing from excessive highs (mania) to profound hopelessness (depression), usually with periods of normal mood in between. Some individuals may exhibit mixed symptoms of both mania and depression at the same time, while others may have more moderate symptoms of mania (hypomania). The type, severity and duration of mood episodes experienced can vary. Some individuals may have a predominance of either mania or depression, whereas some sufferers may experience equal numbers of both. The mood episodes can last for a few days to as long as several months, particularly when left untreated or not treated effectively. Depressions tend to last longer than manic episodes. Typically, a person with bipolar disorder can expect an average of ten episodes of mania or depression in his or her lifetime but some sufferers experience much more frequent mood episodes. The frequency of episodes tends to increase with time and individuals who experience four or more episodes in a year are said to have rapid cycling.


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