The History of Bipolar Disorder: An Untold Story | Dr. Manuel Sánchez de Carmona | #talkBD EP 39 🏛️

on December 8, 2023
The History of Bipolar Disorder: An Untold Story | Dr. Manuel Sánchez de Carmona | #talkBD EP 39 🏛️

Over 2,400 years ago, Greek physician Hippocrates first detailed symptoms of “opposite” mood states – what we now understand as mania and depression. Throughout the Middle Ages and into the modern era, vivid descriptions of melancholy and euphoria continued to surface, drawing focus to a set of distinct symptoms that appeared to occur in cycles.

In this special talkBD episode, psychiatrist Dr. Manuel Sánchez de Carmona dives through centuries of evidence to uncover the fascinating story of manic-depression – and how we’ve come to know the condition today as “bipolar disorder”.

Hosted by Dr. Erin Michalak.

Chapters & Timestamps

00:00 Introduction

01:54 Virginia Woolf Knew She Was Ill

03:58 Ancient Greece & Rome

09:22 19th Century France & Germany

14:18 The Circular Pattern of Bipolar Disorder

18:52 The Modern Era

21:00 The Bipolar Spectrum

24:14 The DSM & History of Mixed Features

27:04 Today: Key Figures, Advocacy, World Bipolar Day

31:50 The Term “Bipolar Disorder” Is Inaccurate?

35:20 King George III & Life Charting

41:49 Learning from Your History

People referenced

Ancient & Classical: Hippocrates, Aristotle, Aretaeus of Cappadocia, Posidonius

19th Century: Jean-Pierre Falret, Jules Baillarger, Karl Kahlbaum, Emil Kraepelin, Vincent van Gogh, King George III

Modern Era: Virginia Woolf, Karl Leonhard, Jules Angst, David Kupfer, Ellen Frank

Today: Kurt Cobain, Carrie Fisher, Kanye West, Britney Spears


Dr. Manuel Sánchez de Carmona is a member of the ISBD Board of Directors and works as an associate professor of Clinical Psychiatry for the Anahuac University in Mexico City, Mexico. He began his involvement with ISBD in 2008 as the founder of the ISBD Mexican Chapter and since then in key leadership roles: first as ISBD Secretary Treasurer and then as ISBD President, serving for two consecutive terms from March 2014 to December 2017. He was able to actively promote the Society and generate local chapters in several countries of Latin America, Asia, and Europe. He is passionate about providing education on bipolar disorders and using the Society as a game-changer in public mental health services. Since World Bipolar Day’s inception, he has been involved in its global promotion and making connections with experts with the lived experience to generate community awareness and fight stigma. Dr. Sanchez de Carmona has more than 30 years of clinical experience treating mood disorders and is interested in diagnosis, early detection, and providing quality of life to patients.



CREST.BD’s World Bipolar Day “Ask Me Anything” 2023

International Society for Bipolar Disorders:

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