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Manic depression

Manic depression (also known as bipolar disorder) affects around one person in 50 at some point in their lives. During the manic periods, a person's experience of the world is altered. Manic depression is probably caused by a combination of inherited and environmental factors. The illness can be treated very successfully with lithium, which acts as a mood stabiliser. Alternative treatments are drugs normally used to treat schizophrenia. Little is known about the problems in the brain that cause mania.

Spike Milligan suffers from manic depression.
Spike Milligan suffers from manic depression.
National Portrait Gallery

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