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Bipolar Disorder

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Bipolar Disorder Guide

Susan Cody HERWriter Guide

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Bipolar Disorder Definition

Definition

Bipolar disorder results in extreme swings in mood, energy, and ability to function. The mood changes of bipolar disorder are more dramatic than normal ups and downs. They can hurt relationships and cause poor job or school performance. Bipolar disorder can be treated. Contact your doctor if you think you may have this condition.

The two extremes of the illness are mania and depression . In mania, energy peaks. The mood may be overly happy or irritable. In depression, lethargy takes over. The mood may be very blue.

There are three forms of this condition:

  • Bipolar I disorder involves recurrent episodes of mania and depression
  • Bipolar II disorder involves milder episodes of mania (called hypomania) that alternate with episodes of depression
  • Cyclothymic disorder may be diagnosed in patients who experience frequent depressive symptoms and hypomania for at least two years and who have been without symptoms for no more than two months

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