More than 2 million American adults, or about 1 percent of the population age 18 and older in any given year, have bipolar disorder. Also known as manic-depressive illness, bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that involves episodes of mania and depression. Depressive episodes may include the following symptoms:
- Persistent sad mood
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed
- Significant change in appetite or body weight.
Manic episodes include abnormally and persistently high mood or irritability, with additional symptoms such as:
- Overly inflated self-esteem
- Decreased need for sleep
- Increased talkativeness.
Like diabetes or heart disease, bipolar disorder is a long-term illness that must be carefully managed throughout a person's life. Common treatment options include a combination of medication and psychosocial treatment.
(For more in-depth information, click Bipolar. This article offers a comprehensive overview of this condition and the symptoms that can manifest during depressive and manic episodes.)