Bipolar disorder is a mental health problem. It causes swings in mood, thought, and actions. There can be times of normal mood in between. People with this problem can lead full lives if they are treated.
The mood swings are not the same as the ups and downs most people have. These problems can harm how you get along with others. It can also cause job or school problems. It may also cause someone to take their own life.
The cause is not known. People with it tend to have others in their family who have it. Certain genes may play a role, but it is not caused by one gene.
Bipolar disorder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/bipolar-disorder. Updated September 9, 2019. Accessed October 10, 2019.
Bipolar disorder in adults. National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at:
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Updated October 2018. Accessed October 10, 2019.
Yatham LN, Kennedy SH, et al. Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT) and International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD) 2018 guidelines for the management of patients with bipolar disorder. Bipolar Disord. 2018 Mar;20(2):97-170.
Last reviewed September 2019 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board Rimas Lukas, MD
Last Updated 11/3/2020