Brain Matters
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Advice for Parents on Caring for Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar illness was once referred to as “manic-depressive” illness. It’s usually a lifelong disorder, characterized by episodes of abnormal, often persistent, highs, and abnormal, often persistent, lows. The highs are characterized by a “too good” mood, irritability, increased energy, increased interest in activities, decreased need for sleep, and sometimes, delusions— some people who are manic actually believe they can fly or believe they have super powers.

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Teenager with Depression

The teenage years are awkward. From cracking voices to gangling arms and legs, teenagers struggle to adjust to their ever-changing bodies. Those physical changes are accompanied by even more dramatic emotional changes. Teens are almost expected to be sullen, moody, and rebellious. They often engage in risky behaviors, forgetting that they are not invincible.

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Sad Young Man with Depression

Each year about 15 million people in America experience the debilitating effects of depression. About one patient in seven doesn’t respond to treatment. Fritz Henn, M.D. Ph.D., is working hard to solve this problem. He’s a professor of psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and a member of the Foundation’s Scientific Council.​

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Parents of Children with Anxiety Disorders

There are three things that we usually look at to tell the difference between abnormal anxiety that is part of an anxiety disorder, and the anxiety that children, or really anybody, experiences as a normal part of life. The first and probably the most important thing we look at is whether there is impairment—anxiety that interferes with a person’s ability to function and leads to avoidance.

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Brain Gears Drug Addiction

By all accounts, drug addiction across America has reached epidemic proportions. More than 22 million people suffer from substance abuse problems, and in 2014, over 43,000 died from unintentional drug overdoses in the United States. Despite these tragic numbers, there are few effective treatments for recovery, and relapse rates are high.

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