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What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder, or manic depression, is a serious brain disorder that causes extreme shifts in mood, energy and functioning.  It affects 2.3 million adult Americans.  Bipolar Disorder is characterized by episodes of mania and depression that can last from days to months.  Bipolar Disorder is a chronic condition with recurring episodes that often begin in adolescence or early adulthood.  It generally requires ongoing treatment.
While the exact cause of bipolar disorder is not known, researchers believe it is the result of a chemical imbalance in certain parts of the brain.  Scientists have found evidence of a genetic predisposition to the illness.  Bipolar disorder tends to run in families, and close relatives of someone with bipolar disorder are more likely to be affected by the disorder.
While there is no cure for Bipolar disorder, it is a highly treatable and manageable illness.  After an accurate diagnosis most people, 80 to 90 percent, can be successfully treated.  Medication is an essential part of successful treatment.  In addition, psychosocial therapies are important to help people understand the illness and cope with the stresses that can trigger episodes.
If you would like more information on Bipolar Disorder, contact the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, Michigan Chapter, 800-331-4264, or visit them online at
Phone code: 1735


Code 1735

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