Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric diagnosis that describes a variety of mood disorders referred as mania (feeling excessively elated, impulsive, and irritable) if stronger and hypomania if milder. Individuals who experience manic episodes will commonly experience depressive episodes or mixed episodes in which features of both mania and depression (feeling excessively sad) are present at the same time. These episodes are usually separated by periods of "normal" mood, but in some individuals, depression and mania may rapidly alternate, known as rapid cycling. Extreme manic episodes can sometimes lead to psychotic symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations. Bipolar disorder can lead to significant illness and even death by suicide if untreated or treated incorrectly.
• Bipolar I Disorder (mania or a mixed episode) - causes at least one manic episode, with or without episodes of depression.
• Bipolar II Disorder (hypomania and depression) - causes at least one hypomanic episode and at least one episode of major depression.
• Cyclothymia (hypomania and mild depression)
Bipolar I disorder affects men and women equally; bipolar II disorder is more common in women. Most people develop the first symptoms of bipolar disorder between age 15 to 30 years.
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