Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is a psychiatric illness characterized by recurrent manic/hypomanic and/or depressive mood episodes that cause significant impairment in functioning. Bipolar disorder can originate before the age of 18 years and is a chronic condition that continues across the lifespan. This entry describes the history of the modern-day disorder, defines manic and depressive episodes, presents clinical features of and associated with the disorder, defines how a diagnosis of bipolar disorder is made in adults and children, and identifies psychopharmacological and psychosocial interventions that are efficacious in the treatment of bipolar disorder.

History of Bipolar Disorder

Variations in moods and energy levels have been described for centuries. The modern concept of manic depression, characterized by biphasic mood shifts between mania and depression, ...

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