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Bipolar Disorder

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Feb 4, 2024.

What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a long-term chemical imbalance that causes rapid changes in mood and behavior. High moods are called mania. Low moods are called depression. Sometimes you will feel manic and sometimes you will feel depressed. You can have alternating episodes of mania and depression. This is called a mixed bipolar state.

What increases my risk for bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is caused by a chemical imbalance. You are more likely to have bipolar disorder if someone in your family has a mood disorder. Stress, and drug or alcohol abuse are the most common triggers for bipolar disorder symptoms.

What are the signs and symptoms of mania?

What are the signs and symptoms depression?

How is bipolar disorder treated?

There is no cure for bipolar disorder, but medicines may be used to control your mood swings. You may need to see a therapist or psychiatrist regularly for counseling. You may need to go into the hospital for tests and treatment.

Treatment options

The following list of medications are in some way related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

View more treatment options

Where can I find support and more information?

Call 911 if:

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.