Approximately 2.6 percent of Americans have experienced bipolar disorder in the past year, and around 4.4 percent have experienced this disorder sometime in their lives. Bipolar disease is characterized by extreme shifts in mood and energy level, from high-energy (mania) to depression. While bipolar disorder is a chronic condition with no known cure, most people can effectively manage their symptoms. There are several distinct types of bipolar disorder, and treatment will depend on the diagnosis.
1. What is bipolar disorder?
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes extreme mood shifts and can make it challenging for those who suffer from it to carry out day-to-day tasks. According to the National Institute of Health, the average age for the onset of bipolar disorder is 25, although it can manifest itself at any age.