Learn More About Bipolar Disorder

What is bipolar disorder?

According to National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), every year, 2.9% of the U.S. population is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, with nearly 83% of cases being classified as severe.

Bipolar disorder is a chronic mental illness that causes dramatic shifts in a person’s mood, energy, and ability to think clearly. People with bipolar disorder have high and low moods, known as mania and depression, which differ from the typical ups and downs most people experience.

With mania, people may feel extremely irritable or euphoric. People living with bipolar may experience several extremes in the shape of agitation, sleeplessness, and talkativeness or sadness and hopelessness. They may also have extreme pleasure-seeking or risk-taking behaviors.

If left untreated, the symptoms usually get worse. However, with a good treatment plan and a strong lifestyle that includes self-management, many people live well with the condition.

Woman sitting on bed with magazine looks out
McLean offers world-class mental health care for individuals struggling with bipolar disorder and related conditions

What Is Psychosis?

Psychosis is characterized by an impaired relationship with reality. People who experience psychosis may have either hallucinations or delusions.

Hallucinations are sensory experiences that occur within the absence of an actual stimulus. For example, a person having an auditory hallucination may hear their mother yelling at them when their mother isn’t around. Someone having a visual hallucination may see something, like a person in front of them, who isn’t actually there.

Psychosis is manageable with therapy and medications. Early intervention (recognizing and treating the symptoms when they first arise) is an important part of best outcomes for this diagnosis.


McLean: A Leader in Bipolar Disorder Treatment

Let us help you or a loved one. Call us today at 877.929.6892 and we’ll help you find the treatment option that’s right for you.

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Looking for even more information about bipolar disorder? You may find these resources helpful.

Interesting Articles and Videos and More

Learn more about bipolar disorder and what you can do if you or a loved one is displaying signs that they are having trouble managing their mental health.

Helpful Links

These organizations may also have useful information:

Books About Bipolar Disorder

Social Cognition in PsychosisSocial Cognition in Psychosis
by Kathryn Eve Lewandowski and Ahmed A. Moustafa
(Elsevier, 2019)


Chemotherapy in PsychiatryChemotherapy in Psychiatry: Pharmacologic Basis of Treatments for Major Mental Illness, 3rd edition
by Ross J. Baldessarini
(Springer, 2013)


Living with Someone Who’s Living With Bipolar DisorderLiving With Someone Who’s Living With Bipolar Disorder: A Practical Guide for Family, Friends and Coworkers
by Chelsea Lowe and Bruce M. Cohen, MD, PhD
(Jossey-Bass/John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2010)