Bipolar disorder can also be known as manic-depressive disorder or related forms of mania or cyclothymia. This type of disorder is characterized by days, weeks or months of elevated mood and mania followed by severe depression. Cycles of mania and depression can be spread over months or be as short as a day. Bipolar disorder can affect men and women of all ages. Learn more about the symptoms of bipolar disorder as well as causes, treatment methods and related conditions.