I wanted to answer this question, not with the tidy clinical synopses, but with more expressive quotes from bipolar authors and celebrities.
Here’s the earliest one by a long stretch:
Melancholia is the beginning and a part of mania . . . . The development of a mania is really a worsening of the disease (melancholia) rather than a change into another disease.
– Aretaeus of Cappadoccia c. 30-90 AD
And back to the 21st century:
I have had manic-depressive illness, also known as bipolar disorder, since I was 18 years old. It is an illness that ensures that those who have it will experience a frightening, chaotic and emotional ride. It is not a gentle or easy disease.
– Kay Redfield Jamison
Manic-depression distorts moods and thoughts, incites dreadful behaviors, destroys the basis of rational thought, and too often erodes the desire and will to live. It is…
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