What Is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder, which is also sometimes called manic depression, is a mental health disorder that causes unusual and extreme shifts in mood, energy levels, and ability to carry out normal daily activities. A patient’s mood may swing from very elated and energized (manic) to very sad and hopeless (depressive).
There are 4 main classifications of bipolar disorder including Bipolar I, which is defined by manic episodes that last for at least 7 days or by manic symptoms that require hospitalization. Depressive stages typically last for at least 2 weeks. Bipolar II disorder is characterized by patterns of depressive episodes, but the manic episodes are less extreme than in Bipolar I.
Cyclothymia is a form of bipolar where the depressive episodes last for 2 years or more with hypomanic symptoms. In cyclothymia, the symptoms do not fully meet the diagnostic requirements for a full bipolar diagnosis. In some cases, patients may not display symptoms that match the diagnostic requirements for any of the classifications detailed above, and are diagnosed with other specified and unspecified bipolar and related disorders.