Bipolar is a cyclical condition. We cycle through depressions and manias, sometimes reaching intensities that cause a crisis for us. We also periodically cycle into remission. It might be easier if the cycles were predictable, but for many of us they are completely random.
Four distinguished panelists gave presentations about their research into why people with bipolar disorder tend to exhibit advantages in some parts of their lives. They said it was the first time ever that the APA had such a discussion and it was a great honor to be a part of it.
Increased awareness results in deeper understanding, better functionality, more comfort for all involved, and recognition of value in what was once seen only as a disorder. It can literally be the difference between a diminished life and a great one.
Bipolar disorder is a life-long mood illness, often with the first onset during late adolescence or early adulthood. An essential element of bipolar disorder is that the individual has had at least one episode of "mania."