Bipolar disorder is covers a spectrum of changes that can be difficult to diagnose.

Features that need to be identified:

(1) severity of mania (with hypomania showing mild features)

(2) severity of depression

(3) psychosis

(4) family history

(5) cycling frequency

(6) onset (peripartum, other)


2 main types (Types I and II) are recognized but there are many variations.





>= 1 episode

usually present

Type I

hypomania (may be subtle, should not show psychosis)

major depression

Type II


Additional terms:

(1) cyclothymia: hypomania with minor depression

(2) Type III (pseudo-unipolar): depression with family history of mania

(3) mixed phase: both manic element and depression concurrently

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