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Alicia_MSW
Alicia_MSW, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Specializing in mental health counseling
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I have to due research on a mental disorder. I chose biopolar

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I have to due research on a mental disorder. I chose biopolar can you help me answer these questions. Would like your opinion. Describe the disorder. What are the typical symptoms of the disorder?
What is the typical age of onset of the disorder?
Is the disorder more prevalent in men or in women?
No problem.

Bipolar is a very interesting disorder to choose.

The typical age of onset varies, but most people start to show symptoms in their late teens and early 20s.

It affects both men and women equally, though some research shows that women experience more frequent episodes of depression or "rapid cycling" - see link for more information:
http://psychcentral.com/lib/2007/women-and-bipolar-disorder/all/1/

The most common characteristic of bipolar disorder, as you probably know, is the presence of mood swings - periods of mania or irritability (depending on which subtype of the disorder you are diagnosed with, I will provide you with a link below so you can review more information about this) alternating with periods depression. During manic episodes, people with bipolar disorder appear euphoric, extremely edgy or irritable, and may make poor decisions or exhibit irrational, risky behavior. Some become suicidal or demonstrate the type of risky behavior that one would associate with the intent to harm oneself. During depressive episodes, the typical features of depression are present. This is why the disorder was formerly referred to as manic depression.

You might find this information from the University of Maryland Medical Clinic helpful, as it describes the different subtypes in more detail:
http://www.umm.edu/patiented/articles/what_bipolar_disorder_000066_1.htm

I hope that helps. Good luck!
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