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The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, aka, the DSM, is the book that

just keeps on giving.

The DSM-I published in 1952 listed 106 disorders but by 1980 the third version contained 265

disorders and number four listed 297.

2013s version of thisPsychiatrists Biblelists 300 maladies according to Reuters,

all contained in 947 pages.

You can find within those hallowed sheets things such asintermittent explosive disorder

and the male crisis ofdelayed ejaculation.”

Some critics argue that some of the disorders arefarcical”, turning normal human behavior

into a disease.

Others say the pharmaceutical industry profiteers from the growing number of mental problems.

Still, there can be no doubt some of us were endowed with or picked up some unusual mental


Today well try our best to explain just one disorder, in this episode of the Infographics

Show, What Actually is Bipolar Disorder?

First of all, lets address the criticisms of the growing number of mental disorders.

We should remember that in our darker past we didnt really know what was wrong with

some people when they were perhaps acting differently from what we might consider normal


Often we just locked them away in dank cells.

We might have bled them to purge them of the malady, or years later given them lobotomies.

In parts of the world today you might still find communities locking up their mentally

ill fearing that they have been cursed, sometimes sacrificing chickens as a propitiation to

the spirits so they will show some mercy and release the mentally ill person from the hex.

Weve come a long way, both in how we treat patients and also how society empathizes with

such people.

There is a good argument, however, that drugs might be over-prescribed; that perhaps not

so many young teens need to be pilled-up on legal amphetamines to get them through the

day, or that Xanax or Valium are perhaps not always the panacea for ones anxieties.

Its said that almost 44 million Americans suffer from a mental disorder, which is about

one in five people.

The National Alliance of Mental Illness tells us that one in five people in the U.S. aged

just 13 to 18 will suffer a severe mental illness.

On a global scale, we are told by some sources that 1.1 billion people suffer from some kind

of mental disorder.

The World Health Organization said in 2018 that 300 million of those people are down

with depression, 50 million have dementia, 23 million have some kind of psychoses, and

60 million have bipolar disorder.

In that article it didnt mention general anxiety disorder, but its said its the

most common disorder around the world.

That might not mean massive, utterly debilitating panic attacks, but just anxiety that makes

life difficult at times.

After all, we all get anxious from time to time; its a natural chemical response that

helps us to survive.

Its just some people have a bit too much anxiety.

There is no way to get an accurate number of anxiety sufferers in the world as much

of the world might not even have a concept of it as a disorder and many other sufferers

wont have seen a doctor.

Try telling a tribesman in the far reaches of South East Asia that their son has anxiety

and his borderline ADHD requires a dose of Ritalin and see where you get.

Nonetheless, there are numbers out there and some say around the world one in thirteen

people suffer from chronic anxiety.

But lets focus on America, where it seems mental disorders grow like weeds on an abandoned

parking lot.

According to data, about one in five people in the USA will suffer from a diagnosable

mental disorder.

We suppose that means quite a lot of our viewers, so we look forward to your comments after

the show.

Coming in at the number one slot, as we said, is anxiety.

That accounts for 19.1 percent of adults and it means anxiety that negatively affects day-to-day

life, work, school, buying a pair of shoes in a bright shopping mall, etc.

Number two was the black dog, aka, depression, and that affected 6.7 million Americans when

the study was published in 2016.

But number three, a disorder we might say that has shot up the charts relatively recently

was bipolar disorder.

This affects about 4.4 percent of the American public.

Next was Post-traumatic stress disorder at 3.6 percent and way behind in terms of numbers

was Schizophrenia.

As for the disorder that affects mainly American kids, the controversial Attention Deficit

Hyperactivity Disorder, well, the CDC says that the malady affects around 6.4 million

Americans aged 4 to 17.

Thats 6.1 percent of youngsters.

We should add that over the last 8 years its gone up 41 percent.

Right now between the scientific community theres a schism wherein many people say

it doesnt even exist or shouldnt be seen as a disorder, and others say it does

and definitely is, but we wont get into that today.

So, bipolar disorder, Americas mental enemy number three.

What is it?

Well, you see it used to be called something different, and that was manic depression.

Many of you who have experienced general depression, unipolar disorder, know its kind of like

having a black cloud following you around and often you just dont know why its

there or how to get rid of it.

Sometimes thats accompanied with feelings of doom, an ever-present black dog that keeps

following you around and not allowing you to have fun, relax, let loose, enjoy the world

around you.

It feels like every thought you have is contaminated, like your very blood is soiled.

This can last a long time, and sometimes you might not even know just how depressed youve

been until youve come out of it.

Bipolar disorder is different, but often confused with depression.

Psychology Today describes bipolar disorder as being a, “chronically recurring condition

involving moods that swing between the highs of mania and the lows of depression.”

But manic is the word we should think about, because bipolar may come with these bouts

of feeling enervated, downcast, a feeling of ennui that wont let you get out of bed

and then theres the other pole.

That pole a few of you will certainly know means a sudden feeling of great energy, excitement,

sometimes a rush of euphoria, your mind races, sometimes you cant shut up, but you might

also feel irritable and angry.

We are also told some people might go as far as to go on massive spending sprees or even

engage in binges of copulation with strangers.

As you can guess, moving between these vastly different poles is the cause of great and

sometimes debilitating instability.

If youve had friends with bipolar disorder you will know that one day they might be calling

you, making plans to do amazing things or at least just touch base more, and then you

dont hear from them for a while and they dont pick up the phone.

Its quite hard to diagnose of course, because many people just go through changing moods;

they are moody.

Others are hyperactive sometimes, but its not always a bad thing; they are just full

of energy but like most things in this world that energy has to dissipate.

You are generally diagnosed with bipolar disorder when your symptoms are extreme, so dont

you guys worry if you are prone to great excitement and making plans and then sometimes go into

reverse, close the blinds and hide from the world.

Thats not always abnormal.

We checked out a few Psyche sites to see exactly what the symptoms of bipolar disorder are.

Of course some of the things we have just talked about are included, but you must know

that they have to be in the extreme.

We are talking about tectonic mood shifts, a polarization that has a negative effect

on you and those around you.

You might sleep too much, hardly sleep at all, and that can make you irritable through

the daywhat we sometimes calledwired.”

During the hyper-manic stage your thoughts might race, kind of like a person high on


You have fancy ideas, sometimes you feel grandiose, youre at the top of your game (youre

not actually), sometimes reckless, but you think youre heading in the right place

even if youre being intrusive, annoying, aggressive.

You might also chat more, but that might even come out as babble as you can be easily distracted

and your friends might think your ideas are absurd.

This period will stop, and you will come crashing down like a grand piano falling from the 13th

floor; your great thoughts and ideas and excitement now shattered and splintered in the street


This is usually followed by darkness, depression, lassitude, remoteness, an inability to communicatethe

battery is dead.

It might mean you cant get out of bed, you might put on weight, you have no energy,

you feel hopeless, empty, cant concentrate, and sometimes think a lot about self-harm

or ending it all.

Some people do, however, have a kind of manic episode that is not followed by this awful


They have the hypomania but dont get the deep depression.

Others will have those bouts of hypomania but they will be short-lived, while the depression

part is very long.

We know of one such case of a man whose hypomania would last perhaps two days, but for months

this unfortunate person disappeared under a large blanket of insuperable depression.

These people might not experience worrying effects during the hyper stage, but the depression

is not an easy thing to live with.

Then there are people who are up and down very often, hyper and depressed perhaps in

the same day.

They swing from one pole to another, but those poles at least are not as extreme as those

of the people who deal with them for longer periods of time.

Sure, it can still be debilitating, having moods that shift like the wind, but its

perhaps less severe than those who experience extreme ups and downs.

There is help for you if you think you have suffered from bipolar disorder, and that doesnt

mean you have start taking meds all the time.

There are mood stabilizers you can take, but you can also just talk about your problems

in therapy.

Just go and see a doctor and you will get help.

Why bipolar disorder happens varies from person to person.

It might just be passed on, something in your bloodline.

At the moment experts tell us that there is no specific gene related to bipolar disorder,

but they say that certain factors including the age of your parents might result in you

having this disorder.

Scientists have looked at what happens in the brain of sufferers, including during manic

and down periods, and indeed they saw irregularities but it still remains something of a mystery.

We are told in the future there might be certain biomarkers for bipolar disorder, but as yet

nothing is written in stone, or should we say inscribed in the brain.

But there might also be environmental factors, meaning you picked it up because of things

that were happening around you.

The good news is, what can be created can be deleted.

Childhood trauma might have helped cause it, and it might reappear during particular stressful

times in your life.

Dont despair.

You might have heard people talking about the brains plasticity, which basically

means you can overcome your disorders, weakness, through making changes, having different habits,

learning about your disorder and understanding it better.

We are all works in progress and we are all able to edit the present and write the future.

Have you suffered from this disorder, because wed love to know how you felt and how you

dealt with it.

Same goes for anyone diagnosed with bipolar disorder now.

Lets hear your story and get some advice for those that might need it.

Tell us in the comments.

Also, be sure to check out our other show Everything You Know About Sleep Is Wrong.

Thanks for watching, and as always, dont forget to like, share and subscribe.

See you next time.

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