Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a treatable illness that causes extreme swings in mood, thought, energy, and behavior. There are often periods of normal mood between episodes. This medical problem is not due to personal weakness or a character flaw.
The mood swings associated with bipolar disorder are different from the average ups and downs of everyday life and are often associated with psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations, delusions, or disorders of thought. They can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even
. When treated appropriately, people with this illness can lead full and productive lives.
Bipolar disorder affects an estimated 2.6% of American adults (18 and older). The condition typically develops in late adolescence or early adulthood. However, some people have their first symptoms during childhood, and some develop symptoms late in life. Bipolar disorder is a long-term illness that must be carefully managed throughout a person's life.
The cause is not known. Bipolar disorder tends to run in families. Specific genes may play a role, but it is not caused by one single gene. Additional factors, possibly stressors at home, work, or school, are believed to be involved in its onset.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a