Bipolar Information


Bipolar disorder represents a group of brain disorders that significantly affect a person’s mood, energy levels, and overall ability to function. The classification encompasses three distinct conditions: bipolar I, bipolar II, and cyclothymic disorder. Each of these conditions involves changes in mood that are severe enough to impact daily activities and personal relationships.

Bipolar I disorder is characterized by manic episodes lasting at least seven days or by manic symptoms that are so severe immediate hospital care is needed. These episodes are typically followed by depressive episodes, generally lasting at least two weeks. Bipolar II disorder involves a pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes, but not the full-blown manic episodes that are typical of bipolar I disorder.

Cyclothymic disorder, or cyclothymia, is a milder form of bipolar disorder, involving periods of hypomanic symptoms as well as periods of depressive symptoms lasting for at least two years (one year in children and adolescents); however, the symptoms do not meet the diagnostic requirements for a hypomanic episode and a depressive episode.

Individuals with bipolar disorder experience intense emotional states referred to as mood episodes. These are drastically different from the typical moods and behaviors that are characteristic of the person. There are three main types of mood episodes in bipolar disorder: manic, hypomanic, and depressive. Each type has distinct symptoms:

Despite the severe symptoms that can occur with bipolar disorders, they are manageable conditions with the right treatment approaches. Treatment typically includes a combination of medication, psychotherapy, and lifestyle adjustments. Medications may include mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, and antidepressants, depending on the individual’s specific symptoms and episodes. Psychotherapy, particularly cognitive behavioral therapy, has been effective in helping individuals manage their symptoms and work through the challenges associated with the disorder.

Education and support for patients and their families are crucial aspects of managing bipolar disorders. Understanding the nature of the disorder and recognizing early signs of mood episodes can significantly improve the outcomes. With appropriate treatment and support, individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder can lead full and productive lives. It is essential for ongoing research and clinical practice to continue improving the understanding and treatment of bipolar disorders to enhance the quality of life for those affected.


The following online tests are available to assess various aspects related to Bipolar.