Bipolar mood disorder as a label, has been used very freely in our society, and I have heard it used in public discourse inaccurately. It is not uncommon to hear a reference to someone acting like they are bipolar. The truth is that this mood disorder is difficult to diagnose and requires treatment and sometimes collaterally, hospitalization. The causes are poorly understood but there is good evidence for a genetic component as well as environmental factors. There is additionally a link between thyroid function and bipolar mood disorder.
I have had the opportunity to work with bipolar patients but due to the complexity of this disorder, I have no composite vignette. I will instead, provide a link to the National Institute for Mental Health information file here.