People who have bipolar disorder can still be successful and creative.
Some historians think that Abraham Lincoln, Hans Christian Anderson, Theodore Roosevelt, Charles Dickens, Emily Dickinson, Sir Isaac Newton, and Ludwig van Beethoven have all shown signs of bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder is a mental illness in which people experience dramatic mood swings that are on opposite ends of the pole. It is also refered to as manic-depressive disorder because people may feel extremely hyperactive (which is called the mania state), or extremely depressed. There is a common misconception that people going through a manic episode are happy. However, this is not completely true as mania describes a higher level of energy. Although euphoria is associated with mania, symptoms also include feeling snappy or angry. The symptoms of bipolar disorder are difficult to live with as they can lead to poor relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide. Treatment can help people coping with the disorder lead relatively normal lives.
About 5.7 million American adults have bipolar disorder. Though it usually develops in late teens or early adulthood but some people have been diagnosed during childhood, and others may develop them very late in life. It is often difficult to diagnose because it can be easily confused with other disorders. People may suffer for more than 10 years before they are accurately diagnosed.
It is widely believed that a combination of biological, genetical, and environmental factors can cause chemical imbalances in the brain, which may lead to development of the disorder.
The symptoms of mania and depression differ in many ways. However sometimes, they come together to form a mixed bipolar state. People are diagnosed with mania if they have three or more of the symptoms for a week or longer while they are diagnosed with depression if they have five or more symptoms for two weeks or longer.