Bipolar disorder cannot be cured and usually lasts a lifetime, but it can be treated very successfully with medication and psychotherapy, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Electroconvulsive therapy, formerly known as shock therapy, is sometimes used in cases when medication and psychotherapy are not successful.
Conditions such as ADHD, PTSD and drug abuse often coexist with bipolar disorder, notes the National Institute of Mental Health. These conditions often trigger bipolar disorder or make symptoms last longer. Some symptoms of bipolar disorder are extreme swings in emotions that last for extended periods. Individuals with bipolar disorder often experience mania and depression, and sometimes these feelings can occur at the same time. People with severe forms of the disorder can experience psychotic episodes that include hallucinations and delusions.