Bipolar disorder Overview You Have To Know- There are a number of criteria involved in the diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Depending on the specifics of the problem which the patient presents anecdotally, they will be assigned to one of the subtypes of the disorder, of which there are essentially three.The two main types of bipolar disorder are Bipolar I disorder and Bipolar II disorder.
Bipolar I involves a number of periods of manic behavior — often lasting several weeks or months at a time. These may or may not be interspersed with periods of depression, and will tend to involve the person behaving erratically, having extreme levels of energy, and experiencing elevated mood.
Bipolar II shifts the whole focus more towards the depressive side. Periods of depression are interspersed with periods of so-called hypomania, whereby a person will have a slightly elevated mood and possibly require less rest.
This will often manifest itself as a period of intense productivity or social activity, with the person seeming almost larger-than-life in character. Since these tend to appear as positive effects, people suffering from Bipolar II disorder tend to evade proper diagnosis.
They will tend to have had the occasional major depressive episode, so the problem may be misdiagnosed as common depression. If the periods of depression experienced are less severe and do not qualify as actual major depressive episodes, the person may be suffering from cyclothymia.
This is even more underdiagnosed that the other forms, since the depressive periods are not severe enough for many people to feel they need help. And, again, the hypomanic episodes are seen as positive, since they present as periods of intense creativity and out-going behavior. These periods of mania and depression tend to last several months each, but can be a lot shorter or a lot longer.The process of diagnosing bipolar disorderOf course, the bipolar (two-sided) nature of the disorder makes diagnosis difficult.
A hasty diagnosis may take place entirely within a depressive episode and falsely conclude that the patient is suffering from major depressive disorder. Repeat consultations are essential for accurate analysis, and in fact the most indicative sign of bipolar disorder is a continual variation in behavior. Health professionals will monitor the patient’s patterns of mood, sleep, and energy. Often the results will show a periodic, or at least repeated, swinging from one extreme to another.Patients with problems of this nature also often have other complicating disorders such as ADHD or OCD, further hindering accurate diagnosis.