In a given year, bipolar disorder affects about 5.7 million American adults, or about 2.6 percent of the U.S. population, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Bipolar disorder is arguably one of the most misunderstood disorders facing Americans today.
Also known as manic depressive disorder, it can cause serious shifts in mood, energy, thinking, and behavior. From highs of mania on one extreme, to the lows of depression on the other. More than just a fleeting good or bad mood, the cycles of bipolar disorder last for days, weeks, or months. And unlike ordinary mood swings, the mood changes of bipolar disorder are so intense that they interfere with your ability to function.