The term "bipolar"" came from putting together the Latin roots bi, meaning two and polus, which pertains to a geographical pole, like the North and South Pole. Thus, bipolar means two poles or two extremes in mood or behavior. A Greek physician named Aretaeus of Cappadocia from the second century A.D. was the first person to recognize symptoms of bipolar disorder. Aretaeus observations of patient's mood swing symptoms are what are now known as bipolar disorder. He wrote, "The patients are dull or stern; dejected or unreasonably torpid (sluggish), without any manifest cause. " (The Everything, p. 2) Later in history, scientist Richard Burton published his book "The Anatomy of Melancholia" (1650), which gave Aretaeus' work widespread recognition. Burtons work became a standard reference in the mental health field and he was regarded as the "father of depression"" (The Everything, p. 2). French doctor Jean Pierre Falret linked suicide and depression in 1854 and distinguished his patients' periods of depression from their exacerbated moods, giving rise to the term "bipolar. " Falret also recognized the tendency for these moods to run in families and this inspired continued research into the twentieth century. There was an article in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disorder in 1952 that stated manic-depression could likely be traced in families. By the time the 1970s rolled around legislation established the standards of ethics for care and treatment of mental-health patients, and the National Association of mental health (NAMI) was founded in 1979.The following year, the term "bipolar disorder" " supplanted "manic depressive disorder"" in the "American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders," commonly referred to as DSM. .
In the beginning, people with mental health issues were devalued and misunderstood. In medieval Europe people that had uncontrollable outburst or violent were considered to be possessed by demons.