Bipolar I Disorder

Bipolar I Disorder is characterized by manic episodes lasting at least seven days, or by such severe manic symptoms that immediate hospitalization is required. Typically, individuals with Bipolar I Disorder also experience depressive episodes, which generally persist for a minimum of two weeks.

Symptoms of Mania

  • Abnormally upbeat, jumpy, elated or expansive mood
  • Increased activity or heightened energy, unable to sit still
  • Exaggerated sense of well-being and grandiosity
  • Decreased need for sleep (sometimes only 2-3 hrs per night, one of the first signs of mania)
  • Very fast speech (pressured)
  • Irritability
  • Racing/fast thoughts
  • Distractibility
  • Feelings of doing a lot of things at once
  • Poor decision-making — for example, going on buying sprees for things one doesn’t need such as three cars or two homes or making foolish investments

Bipolar Disorder affects both men and women equally. Approximately 2.6% of the U.S. population, nearly 6 million people, suffer from bipolar disorder. Symptoms of bipolar disorder typically manifest in the teenage years or early 20s, with most manic episodes diagnosed during this period. More than two-thirds of individuals with bipolar disorder have at least one close relative also affected by the illness. The risk of developing bipolar disorder is heightened when one parent has the condition, ranging from 15% to 30% for each child. If both parents have bipolar disorder, the risk increases to 50% to 75% for their children.


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