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The Boston Globe

Metro

Proposed diagnosis for bipolar disorder divides psychiatrists

As a child, Steve Thompson displayed outsized reactions to ordinary events and intense mood swings. By age 12, doctors diagnosed him with bipolar disorder.

The idea that he had a chronic mental illness - one typically marked in adulthood by manic periods followed by depression - frightened him. “It’s something you think you’ll have your entire life,’’ said Thompson, a 23-year-old student at Massasoit Community College in Brockton.

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