Bipolar Affective Disorder (BPAD), previously known as manic depressive illness, is a mood disorder characterized by periods of depression and/or episodes of extremely elevated and/or irritable moods. Between highs and lows, people with BPAD can be completely symptom free.
It is called mania if the elated mood episode is:
- excessive and/or to the degree that a person develops psychosis —such as auditory hallucinations and/or delusional and grandiose beliefs,
- the symptoms last for seven days (or fewer if hospitalization is required or there is impairment in functioning).
Hypomania — literally “less than mania” — is not as severe or as intense as full-blown mania. Hypomania is characterized by mood elevation (euphoria/frenzy) and persistent lack of self-control. Hypomania is distinct from mania in that there is no significant impairment of functioning.
BPAD commonly coexists with other conditions such as substance use disorders and generalized anxiety disorders.
Approximately 1% of the global population has BPAD and the male to female ratio is 1:1. The average age of onset of BPAD is 25.