Bipolar disorder, once known as manic depressive disorder is characterized by serious mood alterations, i.e., changes from mood expansion to euphoria (manic or hypomanic episodes), to depression (depressive episodes).
Mixed states can also occur, characterized by the simultaneous presence of manic and depressive symptoms.
The bipolar disorder is a recurring psychiatric condition and one of the main causes of disability in the world for people aged 15-44.
This disorders is associated with an increase suicide risk (15 times higher).
Although a number of treated people improves over time, two thirds can experience residual symptoms and at least 40% relapses in the following 2 years.
The bipolar disorder affects almost 2% of people over 18, with equal distribution among genders. However, it increases up to con una distribuzione 6% and over if we also consider minor bipolar disorders that are included in the expanded bipolar spectrum.
Usually, the first episode develops in late adolescence or first adult age (19-29 years), and occurs more or less frequently over the entire life span. In cases with a family history, episodes can start to appear since early childhood.
Approximately 10-15% of adolescents with recurring episodes of major depression develop a bipolar disorder. Abuse of alcohol or drugs, usually along with comorbidities, aggravate significantly health outcomes.
Clinically, a careful examination of 30% to 55% of all those who ask for help for depression reveals that they suffer from a bipolar disorder.