Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder. Pathological mood changes are accompanied by episodes of mania and depression. Depressive episode and its exact opposite manic episode progress intermittently, consecutively and sometimes even simultaneously (mixed affective state). 
While manic episodes are characterized by euphoria, depressive episodes are characterized by despair and collapse. The person acts normally in between episodes. Some patients exhibit the symptoms of mania and depression concomitantly, whereas some patients experience milder symptoms (hypomania).
The risk of bipolar disorder is 20-25% higher if the first degree relatives (parents and siblings) have been diagnosed with it. 50% of bipolar patients were found to have mood disorder in their parents. 

Manic Episode, is an increasingly irritable mood that is abnormal and permanent. Goal-oriented activities and energy levels increase prominently. It is visible every day and continues all day long. It lasts at least one week. Its treatment usually requires hospitalization. During the mood disorder manic episode is associated with increased energy and activity.

Hypomanic Episode, goal-oriented activities and energy levels increase prominently. It is visible every day and continues all day long. It lasts at least four days. Other symptoms are similar to manic episode, but are milder. It usually doesn’t require hospitalization.

Major Depressive Episode, Major Depressive Episode is diagnosed if 5 or more of the following symptoms are present for a 2-week period. Depressive mood and loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities must be persistent in symptoms. Depressive mood (feelings of anger, emptiness and hopelessness), loss of interest and pleasure, significant weight loss or gain (5% change in weight in a month), insomnia or excessive sleeping almost each day, psychomotor retardation or agitation, feeling of fatigue, incompetence and guilt, loss of concentration, recurrent thoughts of death; these symptoms constitute serious social dissonance for most of the day. These symptoms are not dependent on drug or substance abuse or any other disease.
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