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Bipolar disorder often starts in the late teenage years or early adulthood. However, children and adults can be diagnosed with bipolar disorder as well, and the illness usually lasts a lifetime.

Those with bipolar disorder go through unusual mood changes. They go from very happy feeling “up” and active, to very sad and hopeless, feeling inactive. The up feeling is called mania. The down feeling is depression. In between these ups and downs, they have normal moods.

The causes of bipolar disorder aren't always clear. It has been known to run within families. It also has been suspected abnormal brain structure and function may also play a role.
Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness. If not treated, bipolar disorder can cause damaged relationships, poor job or school performance. Bipolar disorder can even lead to suicide. There are effective treatments to control symptoms, which include medicine and talk therapy. A combination of both works best.

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