b'BIPOLAR DISORDER Bipolar disorder (previously called manic depression) is an illness that causes extreme shifts in mood, energy and functioning. Changes may be subtle or dramatic and may vary over the course of a persons life. .Approximately 4 percent of the population in the U.S. is diagnosed with bipolar disorder and it affects men and women equally. Bipolar disorder is characterized by episodes of mania and depression that can last from days to months. It often begins in adolescence or early adulthood and occasionally even in childhood. Most people generally require some sort of lifelong treatment. While medication is one key element in successful treatment of bipolar disorder, psychotherapy, support and education about the illness also are essential components of treatment. What are the symptoms of mania? Mania describes the activated phase of bipolar disorder. Symptoms of mania may include: either an elated, happy mood or an irritable, angry, unpleasant mood increased physical and mental activity and energyracing thoughts and flight of ideasincreased talking, more rapid speech than normalambitious, often grandiose plans risk taking impulsive activity such as spending sprees, sexualMental Health Concerns164'