What Is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder (also known as manic-depressive disorder) causes mood swings that are much more extreme than typical ups and downs that all people experience. The “up” mood is called “mania,” while the “down” mood is “depression.” The timing of these mood swings varies from person to person. Some people with bipolar disorder may experience these mood shifts only a few times per year. Others experience several mood shifts within one day. In some cases, symptoms of mania and depression can occur at the same time.
More than 10 million people in America have bipolar disorder. It usually develops during the late teens or early adult years. At least half of all cases occur before the age of 25. It is not easy to recognize symptoms. Many people suffer from it for years before it is properly diagnosed and treated. It is a life-long condition that can be treated with medication and therapy.