What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, concentration, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.

Bipolar disorder is typically diagnosed during late adolescence or early adulthood. Occasionally, bipolar symptoms can appear in children. Bipolar disorder can also first appear during a woman’s pregnancy or following childbirth. Although the symptoms may vary over time, bipolar disorder usually requires lifelong treatment.

People with bipolar disorder experience periods of unusually intense emotion, changes in sleep patterns and activity levels, and uncharacteristic behaviors—often without recognizing their likely harmful or undesirable effects. These mood episodes are very different from the moods and behaviors that are typical for the person. During an episode, the symptoms last every day for most of the day. Episodes may also last for longer periods, such as several days or weeks.

Proper diagnosis and treatment can help people with bipolar disorder lead healthy and active lives. 

The Mary O’Daniel Stone and Bill Stone Center for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Indiana University School of Medicine–Evansville will catalyze innovative therapies that alter and advance the treatment of bipolar disorder through the center's expanded research team and first-of-its-kind data lake. 

Explore research at the Stone Center

9 million estimated American adults with bipolar disorder
1 million estimated American adolescents with bipolar disorder
14 million Estimated Americans who will experience bipolar disorder some time in their lives.
Source: National Institute of Mental Health; US Census Bureau