Bipolar Disorder - 5 will get you 10?

My five points will get you 10 points for the best answer. Who can give the best description of bipolar disorder? I will pick a winner of the 10 points once this question has gone off the first few pages. I am looking for:
1) correct and complete information
2) good quality resources from the web, books, organizations etc.
3) safety information
4) empathetic tone
5) personal experience with yourself or a loved one
6) I hate to say it, spelling, grammar, punctuation, clarity of answer

(I'm a rotten speller but Yahoo does have a spell checker button.)

Good Luck. And to the wisecracks, go ahead and answer you'll still get your two points.

Answer:
Honestly, speaking as someone who deals with being bipolar (and has for most of my life) there is no real way to describe what it is (at least not one that applies to every person who deals with it). Technically, it's a condition where the affected person has sudden (and sometimes very often), uncontrollable mood swings, ranging from extreme anger and rage, to severe depression (and sometimes suicidal thoughts or even actions). You could be sitting there in a great mood laughing with friends or loved ones, then out of nowhere, be completely depressed and only want to cry or crawl into a hole and die. As far as safety is concerned, that's a subject that has to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, but usually if treated with medicines, safety isn't THAT big of an issue. One thing most people don't take into consideration when dealing with a bipolar person (I'm speaking from experience on this) is how being diagnosed Bipolar (and living day to day with the effects) can effect the person themselves, mainly emotionally. Life is hard enough as it is, but the knowledge that you could suddenly become extremely depressed or (possibly) violently angry out of nowhere and for no reason can weigh on a person more than most people realize.
I know a lot of this. Bi-Polar people are very very smart. Patty Duke lived down the road from us in Idaho and she is one of the nicest and sincere people I have met. There are many groups to help family and patients cope with this. The local groups can be found thru the Mental Health Dept. in each town. With Bi-Polar people they will do great on their meds and often discontinue them as they think they will be fine without them and then end up back in the same spot they started from. The mind thinks 24/7 and often this is frustrating and will end up with suicidal thoughts. Cause you just want it to stop and slow down.

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