The primary symptoms of bipolar disorder are periods of elevated or irritable mood accompanied by dramatic increases in energy, activity, and thinking. The illness has two (bi) strongly contrasting phases (polar): 1) bipolar mania or hypo-mania and 2) depression.
SOURCES: American Psychiatry Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th ed. 2000. Kupfer, J. (editor). Bipolar Depression The Clinician's Reference Guide., Current Psychiatry, 2004. Geddes, JR. Long Term Lithium Therapy for Bipolar Disorder, American Journal of Psychiatry, 2004. McElroy SL. A 52 Week Continuation Study of Lamotrigine In the Treatment of Bipolar Depression, Journal of Clinical Psychiatry; 2004.