Bipolar Disorder: What you need to know — You must have heard the popular myth that anyone with bipolar disorder could be “nice” one minute and “mean” the next, due to their mood swings. Bipolar disorder can be very depressing to live with if not properly managed, and millions of Americans are living with the condition.

Bipolar Disorder Picture

Image depiction of Bipolar Disorder.

You probably know someone with bipolar disorder but you’re not yet aware they even have it. If you don’t know what bipolar disorder, how can you tell when someone is suffering from the disorder?


We conducted a medical search for bipolar disorder definition on Google (PDF). The health information discovered via medical search on Google includes information from medical doctors about how common a condition is, whether it’s critical or contagious, the ages it usually affects, and more.

When you do a Google search for certain medical conditions, you can learn about their symptoms and treatments.

Let’s look at bipolar definitions from reputable sources like Mayo Clinic, WebMD and National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

  • Mayo Clinic Definition of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder — sometimes called manic-depressive disorder — is associated with mood swings that range from the lows of depression to the highs of mania. When you become depressed, you may feel sad or hopeless and lose interest or pleasure in most activities. (source)

  • WebMD Definition of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, with its extreme mood swings from depression to mania, used to be called manic depressive disorder. Bipolar disorder is very serious and can cause risky behavior, even suicidal tendencies, and can be treated with therapy and medication. (source)

  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Definition of Bipolar Disorder

According to NAMI, Bipolar disorder is a chronic mental illness that causes dramatic shifts in a person’s mood, energy and ability to think clearly. People with bipolar have high and low moods, known as mania and depression, which differ from the typical ups and downs most people experience. If left untreated, the symptoms usually get worse. However, with a strong lifestyle that includes self-management and a good treatment plan, many people live well with the condition. (source)

Bipolar Disorder Definition

Bipolar Disorder Definition

Some top searches for Bipolar Disorder are:

  • Bipolar Symptoms
  • Bipolar II
  • Lithium Side Effects
  • Bipolar I
  • Mood Stabilizers
  • Cyclothymic Disorder
  • Bipolar Depression
  • Rapid Cycling Bipolar
  • Bipolar Medications
  • Types of Bipolar
  • Am I Bipolar
  • Bipolar Test

Understanding Hypomania and Mania in Bipolar Disorder

According to WebMD — Bipolar mania, hypomania, and depression are symptoms of bipolar disorder. The dramatic mood episodes of bipolar disorder do not follow a set pattern, and depression does not always follow mania. A person may experience the same mood state several times—for weeks, months, even years at a time—before suddenly having the opposite mood. Also, the severity of mood phases can differ from person to person.

Hypomania on the other hand, is a less severe form of mania. Hypomania is said to be a mood that many don’t perceive as a problem. There are reports suggesting hypomania may actually feel pretty good. People with hypomania reportedly have a greater sense of well-being and productivity. However, for someone with bipolar disorder, hypomania can evolve into mania—or can switch into serious depression; according to information provided by WebMD.

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