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Trai Byers as Andre Lyon in Empire



Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. Symptoms of bipolar disorder are severe. They are different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through from time to time. Bipolar disorder symptoms can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide. But bipolar disorder can be treated, and people with this illness can lead full and productive lives.

Television new sensation Empire is headed into little discussed area. Bipolar disorder.Andre Lyon’s bipolar disorder took a major scene stealing moment in the last episode. Andre’s wife, Rhonda, reminded him that he needs to take his medication and make regular doctor visits. The stress became too much for him when his father seemingly passed him over for heir of the  record label, Andre is the one child that was not graced with musical skill, but business sense. Now, it would appear ot was all for not!

Andre’s dramatic and sudden highs and lows can look like rapid cycling. As the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance puts it, “With rapid cycling, mood swings can quickly go from low to high and back again, and occur over periods of a few days and sometimes even hours.”

Bipolar disorder tends to run in families. Some research has suggested that people with certain genes are more likely to develop bipolar disorder than others. Children with a parent or sibling who has bipolar disorder are much more likely to develop the illness, compared with children who do not have a family history of bipolar disorder. However, most children with a family history of bipolar disorder will not develop the illness.

Technological advances are improving genetic research on bipolar disorder. One example is the launch of the Bipolar Disorder Phenome Database, funded in part by NIMH. Using the database, scientists will be able to link visible signs of the disorder with the genes that may influence them.

The next few episodes will deal with therapy for the son. Want to know more?

Here is a chart that describes the symptoms:

Bipolar chart

National Mental Health


Need additional information?  Visit National Institute For Mental Health.


Empire Venturing Into Little Discussed Area Of Bipolar Disorder  was originally published on

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