WHAT IS BIPOLAR DISORDER?
Bipolar disorder is a complex mental health condition that causes abrupt mood shifts. The extreme mood swings can cause a great deal of difficulty in the life of the individual with bipolar disorder, causing depleted energy and activity levels, disrupted sleep, and general disruption in daily life.
TYPES OF BIPOLAR DISORDER
There are variations of bipolar disorder. These are the four ways bipolar can manifest itself:
- Bipolar I. Bipolar I involves one or more manic episodes, with or without depressive episodes. The mania must be severe enough to require hospitalization and must last a week or longer.
- Bipolar II. Bipolar II disorder features mood shifts between the less severe hypomanic episodes and depressive episodes.
- Cyclothymic disorder. Cyclothymic disorder features ongoing mood shifts between depressive and hypomanic that persist for more than two years.
- Otherwise unspecified bipolar disorder. Unspecified bipolar disorder is present when the symptoms do not fit into the other three categories but with episodes of unusual manic mood.
It is good to also be aware of the high incidence of co-occurring substance use disorder with bipolar disorder, especially alcohol abuse. The substance is used to subdue the symptoms of intense mood states.
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