purposes only. Any person depicted here is a model and not an
actual patient unless otherwise noted.
Understanding Bipolar I Disorder
People experience different moods throughout their lives.
Happiness, anger, and depression are moods most people
experience at one time or another.
It is estimated that over 2.4 million adults in the U.S. have bipolar I disorder. Patients with bipolar I disorder can experience extreme mood swings. These changes in mood aren’t as simple as transitioning from happy to sad. With bipolar I disorder, symptoms can include both a lowering of mood (depression) and an exaggerated elevation of mood (mania). These changes occur in cycles and are referred to as episodes, which can take three different forms: manic, depressive, and mixed.
Bipolar I disorder is a disease thought to be caused by changes in the chemistry of the brain. The symptoms and severity of the condition can vary, but with treatment, bipolar I disorder symptoms can be managed.
There have been recent changes in the definition of symptoms for bipolar I disorder. Please see your healthcare provider for more information about these changes.
Find out information about pediatric patients with bipolar I disorder 10 to 17 years of age.
How Bipolar I Disorder Is Diagnosed
There are no lab tests or medical procedures for diagnosing bipolar I disorder. Instead, a healthcare provider must take a very thorough history of both the patient and, if possible, the patient's family. Bipolar I disorder tends to run in families, although having a family history of the condition doesn't necessarily mean a person will develop bipolar I disorder. By being open and detailed about their symptoms, people can help their doctor arrive at a correct diagnosis. Earlier diagnosis and treatment
Why Diagnosis May Be Difficult
On average, people with bipolar I disorder spend 8 years seeking treatment before receiving a correct diagnosis. One survey found that as many as 69% of people with bipolar I disorder are initially diagnosed with a different condition. One reason is because people tend to only seek treatment during a depressive episode and neglect to discuss manic symptoms with their doctor.
While the causes of bipolar I disorder are still unknown, the symptoms are thought to be triggered by an imbalance of some key chemicals in the brain. Learn more about what scientists believe may be behind bipolar I disorder by
Important Safety Information: An increased risk of stroke and ministroke have been reported in clinical studies of elderly people with dementia-related psychosis.See More Safety Information