What is bipolar disorder? Bipolar disorder is a serious mental health condition that is characterized by cycling mood changes from intense mania or euphoria to episodes of depression. Bipolar disorder is classified as a mood disorder, which seriously affects a person’s mood and interferes with a person’s ability to function effectively in everyday life. Bipolar disorder occurs in equal numbers in both sexes. During the periods of intense mania, the person has a very high level of energy, alertness and excitability with an extremely elevated mood. These periods of mania alternate with episodes of depression that includes a low energy level and overwhelming, persistent feelings of sadness and despair. Some people with bipolar disorder may experience a combination of symptoms of mania and depression called a mixed state. In some cases, there can be a rapid shifting from symptoms of mania to symptoms of depression called rapid cycling. There is no specific cure for bipolar disorder, but the good news is that bipolar disorder is treatable. Treatment of bipolar disorder varies depending on the severity of the condition, and your medical history, age, and general health. Treatment generally includes a combination of medications and psychotherapy. Complications of bipolar disorder can be serious, even life threatening, and include delirium, paranoia, suicidal thoughts and, in extreme cases, suicide attempts. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with or know, are delirious, delusional, or are having or expressing feelings of wanting to hurt or kill oneself or another person.