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Mental illness characterized by the alternation of manic and depressive states. Depression is the more common symptom, and many patients experience only a brief period of overoptimism and mild euphoria during the manic phase. The condition, which seems to be inheritable, probably arises from malregulation of the amines norepinephrine, dopamine, and 5-hydroxytryptamine. It is most commonly treated with lithium carbonate.
Variants of BIPOLAR DISORDER
bipolar disorder or manic-depressive psychosis
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on bipolar disorder, visit Britannica.com.