Bipolar disorder is characterized by opposing moods which accompany the illness. People with bipolar disorder experience great highs (manic stage) and great lows (depressive stage).
Bipolar illness often begins with a depression in adolescence or early adulthood, although the first manic episode may not occur until several years later.
- Bipolar disorder affects 3-5% of the population.
- The first major depression usually occurs during a person’s 20s.
- Depression is 4 to 5 times higher in people between ages 18-44.
- If untreated, 20% of depressive episodes can last for up to two years.
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