Hey, so lately I've been wondering what bi-polar really was. I'm aware it's a mental disorder where there are steady rise and falls of emotion, but that's about it. Here are some starter questions I have: - how is it different from mood swings? Does the person literally have no control? If the person were watching a sad movie but was in the 'manic' stage, would they still feel sadness about what they're watching? - How is it diagnosed? From what age is it noticeable? - I imagine there are a variety of degrees of bi-polar, correct? - If I were to write a character with bi-polarism, what are the pitfalls to avoid? - What happens when the person is in either the 'manic' or 'depression' stage? How long do those stages typically last? Look forward to reading the replies.