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Science
CASE NOTES
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Tuesday 21:00-21:30
Repeat Wednesday 16:30
Dr Mark Porter gives listeners the low-down on what the medical profession does and doesn't know. Each week an expert in the studio tackles a particular topic and there are reports from around the UK on the health of the nation - and the NHS.
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LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 19 September
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DR MARK PORTER
Dr Mark Porter
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Tuesday 19 September 2006
A silhouette of an unhappy-looking woman

Full programme transcript >>

Manic Depression

In the first of a new series of Case Notes, Dr Mark Porter looks at Manic Depression.

Also known as Bipolar Disorder, Manic Depression is a mood disorder that causes unusual shifts in a person's mood, from episodes of mania to severe depression.

Manic Depression usually develops in the late teens and early twenties, but is often not diagnosed until years later. It is a long-term illness that can keep recurring unless properly treated and monitored.

About 1% of the adult population has Manic Depression, and the illness often runs in families.

Mark talks to Professor Jan Scott about what treatments are available.

In a recent survey of patients it was found that on average they were taking five different medications, including mood stabilisers, anti-depressants, sleeping tablets and anti-psychotic drugs.

Talking therapies, like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, can also help. 

Mark visits a support group run by the charity MDF to find out how sufferers help each other, and how they learn to live with the illness.

There is a serious risk of suicide among people with Manic Depression: they are 15 times more likely to kill themselves than the general public.

Professor John Geddes is conducting research trials into how effective different drugs are on preventing relapse, and therefore preventing the risk of suicide.

Women who have Manic Depression are advised to plan carefully before having a baby. 

Sufferers who are pregnant are at a significant risk of suicide.

Mark talks to Lisa who has four children. She had three of them while taking medication for Manic Depression.  She had to weigh up the possible risks of the side-effects of the drugs on her unborn children against the risks to herself if she stopped the medication.
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