Bipolar disorder , also known as manic-depressive, is a mood disorder, and like other mood disorders, can be difficult to diagnose. In fact, early symptoms of bipolar are often attributed to general moodiness or tiredness. Unfortunately, those issues to tend to lead to more problematic conditions if left undiagnosed and untreated.
Bipolar disorder is characterized by episodes of mania and depression. An individual who suffers from bipolar disorder goes through phases of mania, in which he may completely lose touch with reality, followed immediately by episodes of extreme depression. The person may also find it difficult to complete tasks, and may start several projects, only to leave them incomplete. During the mania phase, a person with bipolar disorder may speak very rapidly, and for long periods of time. They often also jump from topic to topic.
Depression sets in during the low phases of bipolar disorder. The person may suffer from problems that include loss of appetite, sleeplessness, and low energy levels. He or she may also feel very irritable.