What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness characterized by mood swings. A maniacal mood can be one of the signs of bipolar disorder. Depressive episodes can also occur. In addition to bipolar disorder, it is also referred to as manic depression or bipolar disease.

People having bipolar disorder often find it hard to manage daily life tasks at school or work or maintain relationships. Despite the lack of a cure, there are many treatment options available that can manage symptoms. You can identify the symptoms of bipolar disorder by watching for these signs.

Bipolar disorder facts

Bipolar disorder is not rare. Approximately 5 million U.S. adults – 2.8 percent – have been diagnosed with it. A person with bipolar disorder begins to show symptoms on average at 25 years of age.

Bipolar disorder is associated with depression lasting more than two weeks. An episode of manic (high) behavior can last for many days or weeks. Some people will experience mood swings several times a year, while others may only experience them occasionally. Here’s how some people experience bipolar disorder.

Symptoms of bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is characterized by these feelings:

  • Depression – feeling very low and lethargic
  • Mania – feeling very high and overactive

Bipolar disorder symptoms depend on the mood you’re in. Unlike simple mood swings, bipolar episodes can last for several weeks (or even longer).


A manic episode (sometimes years later) may precede an initial diagnosis of clinical depression, followed by bipolar disorder.

Depression can lead to feelings of worthlessness, which may lead to suicidal thoughts.

Seek urgent help for mental health if you feel suicidal.

Contact your healthcare professional team or a local mental health crisis network if you feel very depressed.


An individual with bipolar disorder may experience:

  • Happy to feel this way
  • Energy, ideas, and ambitious plans
  • Invest large amounts of money in things you cannot afford and would normally not purchase

And it is common to:

  • Not feeling like eating or sleeping
  • Fast-talking
  • Easily irritated

It is common to think that bipolar disorder is a positive experience when you’re manic.

You could also be experiencing the signs and symptoms of psychosis. This is when you begin hearing or seeing things that aren’t there or become convinced of things that aren’t true.

Living with your bipolar disorder

The lows and highs of bipolar disorder are often so extreme that they interfere with everyday life.

However, we have some good news too. There are several ways to treat bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder medications aim to control the effects of an episode and help someone manage their condition as well as possible.

The following are some treatment options:

Mood stabilizers are medications that prevent episodes of mania and depression, and you take them every day for an extended period of time

Depression and mania can be treated with medication when they occur

Know when depression or mania are taking place and learn how to recognize the symptoms

Taking part in psychological treatment, such as talking therapy, can help you cope with depression and improve your relationships

Obtain some helpful advice on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including exercising regularly, and planning fun activities. You will feel a sense of accomplishment. Also, you will want to improve your diet and get more sleep.

Combining different treatment methods is thought to be the best way to control bipolar disorder.

Additionally, charities, support groups, and associations offer assistance and advice to people with long-term conditions and careers. The process includes learning self-help and how to manage the practical aspects of a long-term illness.