Bipolar 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.
Review Date 6/5/2022
Updated by: Fred K. Berger, MD, addiction and forensic psychiatrist, Scripps Memorial Hospital, La Jolla, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.