Bipolar Disorder

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Definition: A category of mental illnesses in which mood and affect are disturbed - characterized by irregular cycles of mania and/or depression. During manic periods, the individual may be in a very elevated mood and exhibit symptoms of hyperactivity, wakefulness, and distractibility or irritability. In very severe episodes, psychotic symptoms may also be present. Individuals experiencing depressive periods can exhibit sustained symptoms of depressed mood, diminished pleasure or interest in most activities, fatigue, sleep disturbance (either insomnia or hypersomnia), weight loss or weight gain, and slowed thinking.

Also Known As:Manic depression

Related Resources:
Can Bipolars Adopt? Yes!
The bipolar author and her husband have adopted two loving children. This 3-part article is filled with sage advice good for anyone considering adoption, not just someone with a mental illness.

Source/Adapted from: National Adoption Information Clearinghouse

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