Bipolar disorder (also known as bipolar affective disorder, manic-depressive disorder, or manic depression) is a mental illness typically classified as a mood disorder. It is characterized by episodes of an elevated or agitated mood known as mania, usually alternating with episodes of depression. These episodes can impair the individual’s ability to function in ordinary life. About 3% of people have bipolar disorder worldwide, a proportion consistent for both men and women and across racial and ethnic groups. The cause is not clearly understood, but both genetic and environmental risk factors are believed to play a role. Treatment commonly includes mood stabilizing medication and psychotherapy.
There are widespread problems with social stigma, stereotypes, and prejudice against individuals with bipolar disorder.