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             Depression is a commonly undiagnosed illness that affects millions of people. It is one of the common mental illnesses. An estimated 8% of Americans experience serious depression at some point, but estimates range as high as 17%.
             There are differnt types of depression ranging from severe (bipolar disorder) to mild (seasonal affective disorder). Although some may not be as severe as others, they should not go untreated. Untreated depression can lead to very deep depression or even suicide.
             Bipolar Disorder.
             Bipolar disorder is a disease that affects more than two million adults in America. It usually begins in late adolescence but can start in early childhood or later in life. Men and women equally share the percentage of the illness. It also occurs in all ages, races, ethnic groups and social classes. It tends to run in families and appears to have a genetic link.
             Bipolar disorder is different from any other form of depression. People who suffer from this disease experience "highs" and "lows." That is why it is called bipolar disorder. It affects both poles.
             The most common symtoms of mania - the "highs" - are increased physical and mental activity and energy, heightened mood and self-confidence, excessive irratability, decreased need for sleep without experiencing fatigue, delusions and racing speech and thoughts.
             Symptoms for depression - the "lows" - are prolonged sadness, unexplained crying, changes in appetite and sleep, irratability, anger, anxiety, loss of energy, feelings of worthlessness, loss of concentration, and recurring thoughts of death and suicide.
             Treatment for bipolar disorder can include medication, talk therapy, or both. Because it is a hard illness to diagnose, it is best to seek a health professional who specialized in mental illness. There are support groups around the country for people with bipolar disorder to share their challenges and accomplishments living with this illness.

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