Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder that is characterized by episodes of mania and depression
that cause drastic changes in behavior. The periods of feeling sad or depressed may alternate with
periods of feeling very happy and active or moody and irritable.
Bipolar disorder affects men and women equally. It often begins in adolescence or during early adulthood and continues throughout life. The exact cause is unknown, but it occurs more frequently in people who have relatives suffering from the disorder.
In most people with Bipolar Disorder, there is no clear cause for the periods or episodes that occur where a person experiences an increase in activity or energy, perhaps an excessive uptake in hobbies (extreme happiness) or on the contrary, low activity or energy (depression).