Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression, is a mental health condition that causes dramatic shifts in mood. People with this condition have episodes that range from extreme elation (called manic episodes) to severe depression (called depressive episodes) that are significant enough to interfere with their daily life. Just under 3 percent of Americans have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
Doctors divide bipolar disorder into four separate types:
- Bipolar I disorder involves one or more manic episodes that last for at least seven days, or that are severe enough to require a hospital stay. People with this type often have depressive episodes as well, which last for at least two weeks....