Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depressive Illness or Manic Depression)

Bipolar disorder, which used to be called manic depressive illness or manic depression, is a mental disorder characterized by wide mood swings from high (manic) to low (depressed). Periods of high or irritable mood are called manic episodes. The person becomes very active, but in a scattered and unproductive way, sometimes with painful or embarrassing consequences. 
To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »