DEC 09, 2015 2:20 PM PST

Mania and Depression: What It Means to Be Bipolar

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Commonly known as manic-depressive mood disorder, bipolar disorder is characterized by the dramatic shift in a person's mood, energy, and activity levels. From the highest of highs to the lowest of lows, mood changes in bipolar Type I are intense and severely impede daily functions. For bipolar Type II, depressive and hypomanic episodes can be as equally debilitating.

Bipolar disorder tends to run in families, suggesting a genetic component to the risk. However, no single gene has been identified. Rather, scientists think a many genes and environmental factors may act in concert to manifest the disorder.

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 Demi Levato, 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.
You May Also Like
DEC 24, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Novel Two-phased Particles are the Ultimate Authenticity Tag
DEC 24, 2020
Novel Two-phased Particles are the Ultimate Authenticity Tag
Counterfeit goods producers are flooding the global market with low-quality, sometimes dangerous merchandise and ripping ...
JAN 05, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Could Earth's Microbes Help Us Find Extraterrestrial Life?
JAN 05, 2021
Could Earth's Microbes Help Us Find Extraterrestrial Life?
As scientists are learning more about microbes existing in the higher echelons of the Earth's atmosphere, they are b ...
JAN 08, 2021
Space & Astronomy
New Findings Suggest Dark Matter Doesn't Exist
JAN 08, 2021
New Findings Suggest Dark Matter Doesn't Exist
The existence of dark matter has been considered a 'given' for decades as a way to understand some of the less e ...
FEB 09, 2021
Earth & The Environment
Scientists Spotlight Dangers of Ocean Noise Pollution
FEB 09, 2021
Scientists Spotlight Dangers of Ocean Noise Pollution
Many ocean species use sound to communicate and survive. Sound is a crucial communication method since vision is limited ...
FEB 19, 2021
Plants & Animals
What can Lemurs Teach us About Love?
FEB 19, 2021
What can Lemurs Teach us About Love?
Although not entirely accurate, romantic sentiments such as "you're my lobster" or "you're my pen ...
MAY 30, 2021
Space & Astronomy
New Discovery Casts Origin of Milky Way into Doubt
MAY 30, 2021
New Discovery Casts Origin of Milky Way into Doubt
A detailed cross-section of another galaxy, known as YGC 10738, has cast previous ideas of how the Milky Way was formed ...
Loading Comments...