Bipolar disorder causes a person to have mood swings between extreme mania and deep depression; however, there are ways to regulate these fluctuations. Many famous artists and writers have experienced bipolar disorder throughout their lives because of unrelieved stress pertaining to their careers. Included in that are Ernest Hemingway, Amedeo Modigliani, and Robin Williams. Researchers have found that the main cause for this disease has genetic influence. Treatment may include antidepressants and/or psychotherapy, although many patients enjoy the extreme highs and forgo treatment.
In North America alone, about one percent of people experience bipolar disorder during their lives. In comparison, at least eight percent of people experience serious depression during their lives. Bipolar disorder affects men and women about equally and is somewhat more common in wealthier classes (Sommers 5-6). At least fifteen percent of people with bipolar disorder commit suicide. Bipolar disorder usually begins in a person's late teens or twenties.
Men usually experience mania as the first mood episode, whereas women typically experience depression first. Episodes of mania and depression usually last from several weeks to several months. On average, people with untreated bipolar disorder experience four episodes of mania or depression over any ten-year period (Yahoo Health).
In the manic phase of bipolar disorder, people feel outrageously and inappropriately happy and irritable. In this highly energized state they sleep less, have racing thoughts, and talk in a fast like speech that goes off in many directions. They have a high self-esteem and confidence that may lead to outrageous delusions. Mania may make people impatient, and when frustrated, even physically abusive. Many go through buying sprees, hyperactivity, and the pursuit of risky activities, such as gambling and sexual recklessness. For example, they may take airplane trips all over the country, make indecent sexual advances, and...