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 1/25/2020
Updated by: Ryan James Kimmel, MD, Medical Director of Hospital Psychiatry at the University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.