The truth is that more people are plagued with manic depression than you may think. It's a disease that knows no cultural, economic or educational boundaries.

Manic depression is a malfunctioning of the brain which causes an individual to experience disparate mood swings for no apparent reason. Those affected with manic depression are not only capable of reaching seemingly bottomless lows of depression, but are also able to extend their emotions to euphoric states where they feel a certain bliss and visions of grandeur.

In fact, manic depression - which is not more often referred to as bipolar disorder - affects 1.9 million Americans personally in any given year. But this number doesn't reflect the actual number of people x being treated for manic depression. Half of this nearly 2 million are not receiving any treatment for their manic depression. Some simply aren't aware they have it. Others are homeless and cannot get help. Still others are incarcerated and not receiving proper treatment.

Still others aren't receiving treatment for their manic depression because their symptoms are in remission. These individuals have chosen to stop taking their medication for manic depression. And there are still some individuals with manic depression who just refuse to be treated. Unfortunately, some these people end up self medicating themselves with illegal drugs and excessive alcohol use.

Manic depression really doesn't care whether you're male or female. It strikes both sexes just about equally. This, researchers believe, is a curious fact. While men are affected by manic depression roughly on the same order as women, females are more susceptible to depression. Science has yet to tell us why that should be.

While African-Americans and Caucasians are about equally susceptible to developing manic depression, Mexican-Americans have a lower than average risk of developing it. The risk for the Amish and the traditional Hutterites of developing manic depression is also lower than average.

Is manic depression a consequence of living in an industrialized, stressed out society? While there is no real research being done to answer this question, the statistics themselves seem to answer 'Yes!' The incidence of manic depression was much lower prior to the 19th Century. This illness seems to be increasing in prevalence. Now, even children are being diagnosed with manic depression. Prior to 1994, it was that that this disorder didn't affect those under the age of 18. The sad part is that we have yet to determine a cause.

In the meantime, the treatment and related costs of manic depression costs the United States approximately $45 billion every single year!