Also see the page: Bipolar disorder.

    Perhaps depression is the inability to see value in our pain. Depression is anger turned inward. Depression is a chemical imbalance. Depression is a mental illness. Depression is resistance to what is. Depression is physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, relationship, and career/financial pain. Depression is Beautiful. If we dive deeply into any of these points of view we deepen our understanding. [Photo: Like many actors and other creative people, Harrison Ford has struggled with depression.]

    The National Institute of Mental Health reports that 5.7 million adult Americans -- 2.6% of the population -- suffer from bipolar disorder. Researchers also say that bipolar disorder can shave more than nine years off of someone's life. And yet, according to the Depression and Bipolar Alliance, it takes an average of 10 years for an appropriate diagnosis. In "Manic," a memoir of her life with bipolar disease, Terri Cheney explains why it can take so long.

    Bipolar Explorer

    Manic Hollywood tales are never in short supply.. The city provides the physical and emotional backdrop for a new book by Terri Cheney... "Manic: A Memoir" chronicles Cheney's decades-long struggle to come to terms with and manage her bipolar disorder.

    I believe that curiosity, wonder and passion are defining qualities of imaginative minds and great teachers; that restlessness and discontent are vital things; and that intense experience and suffering instruct us in ways that less intense emotions can never do.

    There is a particular kind of pain, elation, loneliness, and terror involved in this kind of madness. When you're high it's tremendous. The ideas and feelings are fast and frequent like shooting stars... But, somewhere this changes. The fast ideas are too fast, and there are far too many, overwhelming confusion replaces clarity.

    By John Gartner, Ph.D. -- Energy, drive, cockeyed optimism, entrepreneurial zeal, Yankee ingenuity, messianism, and arrogance are traits that have long been attributed to the "American character." But what is the source of this American temperament? Are we a nation fueled by predominating genetic characteristics predisposed to entrepreneurialism, risky innovative ventures, and a willingness to fail in the pursuit of an ideal?

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