Bipolar Disorder: Symptoms, Signs, Treatment & Information

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Group of ladies laughingBipolar Disorder is also known as Manic Depression and Manic Depressive Disorder.  The individual suffering from Bipolar Disorder has a mental illness.

This brain disorder can involve radically fluctuating moods and activity levels.  The average age of onset is 25 yrs of age and this disorder affects both men and women equally.  It is estimated that up to 2.8% of the adult population suffers from Bipolar Disorder.

Brain structure, stress, and genetics are all thought to contribute to the development of Manic Depressive Disorder.

Bipolar Signs & Symptoms

  • Chronic depression
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Chronic Tiredness
  • Feelings of Worthlessness
  • Health, relationships and work-life declining in quality
  • Manic or Hypomania Episodes

Types of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar I

Episodes of both depression and mania occur.  The manic episodes are either so extreme that they may require hospitalization or lasts for one week or longer.

Bipolar II

Like Bipolar 1, both significant emotional lows and highs occur, but the highs (mania) is less extreme.


Characterized by less extreme highs and lows compared to Bipolar I and II.  Generally able to function in life but quality of life compromised by the vacillation from depression to hypomania.

Bipolar Disorder Unspecified

Similar symptoms as above, but unique enough in the presentation to differ from the other forms of the disease.

Resources for Support

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

American Psychiatric Association (APA)

Articles for Health Care Practitioners (coming soon!)

Dr. talking to patient about eating disordersLeading Research Overview

Treatment Protocols

Therapeutic Tools


Hospitalization During Acute Manic Episodes

Effectively Working with Family Members of the Bipolar Individual

Diagnosis and Treatment of Bipolar Disorder

Differentiating Levels of Bipolar Disorder

Journal Reviews

Book Reviews

We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Reviewed & Approved on December 2, 2019, by Jacquelyn Ekern MS, LPC
Published December 2, 2019, on