Bipolar disorder, often referred to asmanic-depressive illness,is one of the most common mental disorders. Typical for Bipolar disorders are unusual swings in a person's mood, energy level and ability to function.

The consequences can be dramatic. People suffering from bipolar disorder experience difficulties in many aspects of their life. They often have difficulties in keeping a job, or finishing school. They often suffer from damaged relationships. Some of them even commit suicide. They also often abuse alcohol or drugs.

On the other hand, there is now a better understanding of bipolar disorder, so therapy is more effective. When bipolar disorder is treated properly, those suffering have the prospect ofleading a happy and productive life.

There are many people suffering bipolar disorder. It is estimated that1% to 3% of the populationsuffers bipolar disorder. The condition typically develops in early adulthood or in late adolescence. Sometimes, the first symptoms of bipolar disorder can occur later in life or sometimes even during childhood.

How comes that this mental disorder can cause so much damage to those suffering as well to their families? The problem is that bipolar disorder is often not recognised as an illness. People sometimes suffer for years before being diagnosed and receiving proper therapy.