What is bipolar mood disorder?

What is bipolar mood disorder?

Page last updated: May 2007

Bipolar mood disorder is a form of depressive disorder that used to be called manic depressive illness.

People with bipolar mood disorder experience extreme mood swings - from depression and sadness to elation and excitement. The mood swings tend to recur, can vary from mild to severe, and can be of different duration.

Bipolar mood disorder affects about one percent of the Australian population, and severe disorder is experienced by about one in 200 people at any given time.

Early recognition and effective early treatment is vital to the future wellbeing of people with bipolar mood disorder. With effective treatment, people can live full and productive lives.