Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness. People who have it experience dramatic mood swings. They may go from overly energetic, "high" and/or irritable, to sad and hopeless, and then back again. They often have normal moods in between. The up feeling is called mania. The down feeling is depression.
Bipolar disorder can run in families. It usually starts in late adolescence or early adulthood. If you think you may have it, tell your healthcare provider. A medical checkup can rule out other illnesses that might cause your mood changes.
Untreated, bipolar disorder can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide. However, there are effective treatments: medicines and "talk therapy." A combination usually works best.
Note: This topic was prepared to help consumers find reliable health resources on the web. This site is not responsible for the information on other sites. The information here — and on all websites — is not intended to be a substitute for care given to you by a health professional.
Take a Confidential Screening Test
- This confidential online screening may help you decide whether it's time to seek professional assistance for a mental health issue. This screening tool is provided through Mental Health Connections, a program provided by the Health District of Northern Larimer County and SummitStone Health Partners.
- Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
- This site provides information about living with depression and bipolar disorder as well as educational programs and events, blogs, research and clinical trials, advocacy and more.
- Mental Health America
- This site offers free and confidential mental health screenings for bipolar and other disorders. It also provides information about bipolar disorder in general, as well as specific information about bipolar disorder in African Americans and children, links to information about clinical trials, mood disorders, suggested reading and more.
- National Institute of Mental Health
- This site defines bipolar disorder, its signs and symptoms, and treatments, as well as assists in locating services and provides links to news about bipolar disorder, publications and clinical trials.
- This site defines bipolar II disorder, similar to bipolar I disorder but with less intense elevated moods.
- Also available in Spanish, this website provides links to a various other sites with information on bipolar disorder, including the latest news, online screening, diagnosis and symptoms, research, coping, treatment, statistics, and its presence in children, teenagers and women.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness
- This site gives an overview of bipolar disorder including symptoms, medications and their side effects.
- Alliance for Suicide Prevention of Larimer County
- The Alliance for Suicide Prevention has a depression/bipolar support group, a peer support and educational group for individuals 18 and older dealing with depression or bipolar disorder. In an emergency, call 9-1-1.
- Mental Health Connections is a project of SummitStone Health Partners and the Health District of Northern Larimer County, providing mental health and substance abuse resources for Larimer County residents.
- Search this site to find a therapist or other mental health professional in the Fort Collins area.
- Poudre River Public Library District
- Search the library collection for books about bipolar disorder, or use the library's health, sciences and technology databases.
- Best Health Sites
- This collection of web links, organized by site type, will help you find the health information you're looking for.