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Proper diagnosis and treatment help people with bipolar disorder lead healthy and productive lives.
Talking with a doctor or other licensed mental health professional is the first step for anyone who thinks he or she may have bipolar disorder.
Unlike people with bipolar disorder, people who have depression only (also called unipolar depression) do not experience mania.
They may, however, experience some manic symptoms at the same time, which is also known as major depressive disorder with mixed features.
Less severe manic periods are known as hypomanic episodes.
People with bipolar disorder experience periods of unusually intense emotion, changes in sleep patterns and activity levels, and unusual behaviors.
The doctor can complete a physical exam to rule out other conditions.
These moods range from periods of extremely “up,” elated, and energized behavior (known as manic episodes) to very sad, “down,” or hopeless periods (known as depressive episodes).Note for Health Care Providers: People with bipolar disorder are more likely to seek help when they are depressed than when experiencing mania or hypomania.