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Books, Journals, New Media
October 20, 1999

PsychiatryBreakdown: A Personal Crisis and a Medical Dilemma

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


Not Available

JAMA. 1999;282(15):1487. doi:10.1001/jama.282.15.1487-JBK1020-4-1

Manic-depressive illness, or bipolar affective disorder, is mysterious and intangible. It changes how a person thinks and feels, yet there is no fever, no characteristic laboratory findings, and nothing to measure. Often, those affected do not realize that they are ill; family and friends are perplexed, scared, or enraged by their behavior. In the absence of tissue to send to the pathologist, autobiographical accounts of the illness can help us to understand the bipolar disorder.

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