OverviewBipolar disorder is a mood disorder characterized by episodes of mania and major depression. Treatment with lithium or mood stabilizers may be effective, but medication regimens are sometimes difficult to tolerate and maintain, thus increasing risk of relapse.
Update Date 1/31/2013
Updated by: David B. Merrill, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.