a lifetime of depression

ACCORDING to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group:

ACCORDING to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group:

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is a mental illness involving episodes of serious mania and depression.

A sufferer's mood usually swings from overly high and irritable to sad and hopeless and then back again, with periods of normality in between.

It usually begins in adolescence or early adulthood and persists throughout life.

The cause is unknown but is believed to be a combination of chemical imbalances in the brain and genetic and psychological factors. It might also run in families.

Stressful events, such as the loss of a job, marital difficulties or a death in the family, might trigger an episode of mania or depression but it can also occur for no apparent reason.

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