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(p. 177) Bipolar and related disorders 

(p. 177) Bipolar and related disorders
(p. 177) Bipolar and related disorders

Martin Brüne

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date: 22 October 2020

Bipolar disorder concerns a syndrome in which both manic and depressive episodes occur, or states where manic and depressive symptoms cooccur. Mania is characterized by elevated mood, drive, and accelerated cognition. Behaviourally, mania reflects an extreme phenotypic variation of cognitive, emotional, and behavioural traits involved in competitiveness and dominance. Evolutionary explanations of mania suggest that dilute versions of the syndrome may confer increased reproductive success, which could partly account for the preservation of genes that predispose to bipolar disorder. Life-history perspectives suggest that mania reflects a ‘fast’ life-history strategy. Why such a strategy can switch—sometimes rapidly—to the extreme of a ‘slow’ strategy (i.e. depression) remains unclear.

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