Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. Symptoms of bipolar disorder are severe. They are different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through from time to time. Bipolar disorder symptoms can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide. But bipolar disorder can be treated, and people with this illness can lead full and productive lives.
Bipolar disorder often develops in a person's late teens or early adult years. Some people have their first symptoms during childhood, while others may develop symptoms late in life.
Bipolar disorder is not easy to spot when it starts. The symptoms may seem like separate problems, not recognized as parts of a larger problem. Some people suffer for years before they are properly diagnosed and treated. Like diabetes or heart disease, bipolar disorder is a long-term illness that must be carefully managed throughout a person's life.
Source: National Institute of Mental Health
Key Point 1
Bipolar disorder is a chemical disorder of the brain that causes mood shifts from mania to depression. It is a life altering illness for the person with the disorder and the family.
Key Point 2
While bipolar disorder can be a challenging, long-term condition, it is treatable. In most cases, it can be controlled by medication and psychotherapy, so making the diagnosis is important.
Conduct an off-site search for bipolar disorder from MedlinePlus. These up-to-date search results are based on search terms specific to Second Opinion Key Points.
There are a very large number of organizations dedicated to helping people with bipolar disorder and their families and friends. This is only a partial list.
The mission of NIMH is to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery, and cure.
Due in large part to generous individual, corporate, and foundation donations, NAMI is able to build on its success and continue to focus on three cornerstones of activity that offer hope, reform, and health to our American community: Awareness, Education, and Advocacy.
The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) is the leading patient-directed national organization focusing on the most prevalent mental illnesses. DBSA supports research to promote more timely diagnosis, develop more effective and tolerable treatments, and discover a cure.