Bipolar disorder is also known as manic depression. There are more than three million U.S. cases per year. It is a disorder with episodes of mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs. The exact cause of bipolar disorder isn't known, but a combination of genetics, environment, and altered brain structure and chemistry can play a role. It is a chronic disease; there is no cure, but treatment can help. The treatment is usually lifelong and involves medications and psychotherapy.

Bipolar disorder symptoms include during a manic episode, high energy, reduced need for sleep, and loss of touch with reality. During a depressive episode the symptoms include, low energy, low motivation, and loss of interest in daily activities. Episodes can last from days to months at a time and may also be associated with suicidal thoughts.

People who have bipolar disorder can have periods in which they feel overly happy and energized and other periods of feeling very sad, hopeless, and sluggish. In between those periods, the people usually feel normal. When a person has this disease it is like the have two poles in their mood. They are happy one minute and the next they are sad or mad. If you have a loved one with bipolar disorder seek out help and support from our community.