Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive disorder, causes dramatic shifts in a person's mood, energy, and ability to think clearly. People with bipolar experience extreme high and low moods- known as mania and depression – which differ from the typical ups-and-downs most people experience.
Scientists have not yet discovered a single cause of bipolar disorder. Currently, they believe several factors may contribute, including:
A person with bipolar disorder may have distinct manic or depressed states but may also have extended periods,sometimes years, without symptoms. A person can also experience both extremes simultaneously or in rapid sequence. Severe bipolar episodes of mania or depression may include psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations or delusions. Usually, these psychotic symptoms mirror a person's extreme mood. People with bipolar disorder who have psychotic symptoms can be wrongly diagnosed as having schizophrenia.
Bipolar disorder affects 2 million adults in the United States alone. One in five Americans has a mental health condition.
The highs and lows of bipolar disorder are very different from common mood swings. People with bipolar disorder experience extreme changes in energy, activity, and sleep that are not typical for them.
There are four basic types of bipolar disorder, and the experience is different per individual.
Bipolar disorder is treated and managed in several ways:
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