FEB 09, 2017 01:55 PM PST

Living with Bipolar Disorder: Facts vs. Myths

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Kay Redfield Jamison, a noted American bipolar psychologist who suffers from bipolar herself once described a manic episode that led her to buy 20 Penguin-published books because "it could be nice if the penguins could form a colony." At the opposite end of the spectrum, she recounted severe bouts of depression.

Commonly known as manic-depressive mood disorder, bipolar disorder is characterized by the dramatic shift in a person's mood, energy, and activity levels.

Approximately 5.7 million adult Americans have bipolar disorder, making it one of the most prevalent psychiatric conditions. But despite this high incidence rate, the disorder is still shrouded in stigma and shame, like many other psychiatric conditions. With more and more people, including celebrities like Brittany Spears, Demi Levato, and Catherine Zeta-Jones revealing their own diagnoses, perhaps we can increase awareness for this condition and come up with better treatments.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
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