To explore aspects of prestige in the bipolar disorders. Conclusions: Conceptualisation around bipolar spectrum disorders is in its infancy, in particular with relation to their neurobiological and evolutionary underpinnings. While research has privileged proximate causation, a separate, nascent dialogue in relation to the aboutness of affective syndromes exists. Arguably, affective disorders can be considered in relation to the social group phenomena of self-esteem and prestige. A conceptualisation of Panksepp s PLAY and Thayer s energetic arousal systems combined- Hedonic Energetic Social Engagement- can be invoked as a mechanism for bipolarity. This has been acted upon by prestige competition to create a selection pressure for prestige. In this model, bipolar spectrum conditions evolved as a by-product of this process.