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A Brief History of Bipolar Disorder

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In 1952, an article appeared in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disorder, analyzing the genetics behind the disorder, and revealing the likelihood that manic depression ran in families already stricken with the disorder. Throughout much of the 1960ís many with the disorder were institutionalized and given little help financially because of Congressí refusal to recognize manic depression as legitimate illness. Only in the early 1970ís were laws enacted and standards established to help those afflicted, and in 1979 the National Association of Mental Health (NAMI) was founded.

In 1980, the term bipolar disorder (1980) replaced manic-depressive disorder as a diagnostic term found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-III). During the 1980ís research finally was able to distinguish between adult and childhood bipolar disorder, and even today more studies are needed to find the probable causes and the possible methods to treat the illness.

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