Introduction to Bipolar and Related Disorders

What you’ll learn to do: examine bipolar and related disorders

A figure is wearing a mask with a sad expression while holding a smiling mask.

Bipolar disorder is characterized by mood states that vacillate between sadness and euphoria; a diagnosis of bipolar disorder requires experiencing at least one manic episode, which is defined as a period of extreme euphoria, irritability, and increased activity. Mood disorders appear to have a genetic component, with genetic factors playing a more prominent role in bipolar disorder than in depression.