‘Ride the Tiger’ — a Documentary About the Bipolar Brain

By Dr. Mercola An estimated 5.1 million Americans have bipolar disorder,1 also known as manic-depressive illness, which is characterized by unusual and typically dramatic shifts in mood and energy. Emotions tend to be intense, with the patient seesawing between ecstatic joy and hopeless depression. Hallucinations and delusions of grandeur are common during the manic phase, leading the patient to engage in risky and irrational behaviors, such as not looking both ways before crossing the street because they think they’re invincible, or jumping out of a window, convinced they can fly. The PBS documentary, “Ride the Tiger: A Guide Through the Bipolar Brain,”2 originally aired on April, 2016, explores our current understanding of the illness, and puts a human face on the struggle with commentary by those challenged with it. Highly accomplished individuals diagnosed with bipolar featured in the program include actress Patty Duke, who was diagnosed in 1982, and Patrick Kennedy, a former U.S.


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