Bipolar Disorders are more complex in nature than a major depressive disorder and can fall under several categories depending on the symptoms that are present:

1)  Bipolar Disorder I
2)  Bipolar Disorder II
3) Cyclothymia

Three phrases need to be defined first in order to better understand what type of bipolar disorder is present:

1)  Manic episode
2)  Hypomanic episode
3)  Mixed episode

                                   Manic Episode

A manic episode is defined in the following ways:

Furthermore, some of the following symptoms also need to be present: This disturbance of mood is so severe that it causes marked impairments in occupational and social functioning.  Hospitalization may sometimes be necessary as a way of protecting the individual from harming himself/herself.

It is worth noting that these symptoms are not experienced because of physiological effects of drug use or medical conditions.

                                Hypomanic Episode

It is worth noting that the symptoms of manic and hypomanic episodes mimic one another closely except for a few subtle differences. A hypomanic episode is defined in the following ways:

Furthermore, some of the following symptoms also need to be present: This hypomanic episode shows a marked change in the individual's functioning that is not characteristic of that individual when he/she does not exhibit the symptoms listed above. Other people notice this change in functioning as well.

Unlike the manic episode, this disturbance of mood is not so severe that it causes marked impairments in occupational and social functioning.  Hospitalization will usually not be necessary when one experiences a hypomanic episode.

It is worth noting that these symptoms are not experienced because of physiological effects of drug use or medical conditions.

                                   Mixed Episode

The mixed episode criteria is met when the individual experiences both a manic episode and a major depressive episode (refer to the depressive disorder section) almost everyday for a period of 1 week.

Similar to the manic episode, this episode causes severe impairments in social and occupational functioning, in addition to relationship with others. Furthermore, hospitalization may be necessary to prevent the individual from harming himself/herself or others.

Finally, these symptoms are not experienced because of physiological effects of drug use or medical conditions.
 

                                  Bipolar I Disorder

There are several types of Bipolar I disorder:

It is rather important to note that the following disorders can also be identified as a "single" episode or "most recent" episode.

Bipolar Disorder with a manic episode is identified when an individual experiences at least one manic episode and no history of a major depressive disorder (depression).  It is important to note that this manic episode is not as a result of another disorder such as schizoaffective, etc...

A bipolar disorder with a hypomanic episode is defined when an individual experiences a hypomanic episode. There also needs to be at least one manic episode.  These symptoms tend to cause significant distress or functional impairments socially, occupationally or other important areas.  Once again, these episodes are not as a result of other disorders such as schizoaffective, etc....

Bipolar disorder with a mixed episode is best identified when an individual experiences a mixed episode. It is worth noting that there needs to exist at least one major depressive episode, manic episode or mixed episode.  Once again these episodes are not as a result of another disorder such as schizoaffective, etc...

Finally, a bipolar disorder with a depressed episode is when the individual is currently in a depressive episode. In addition, there has previously been at least one mixed or manic episode as well.  Same as with other bipolar disorders, these episodes are not caused by other disorders such as schizoaffective or others.

                                 Bipolar II Disorder

The criteria necessary to be identified as a Bipolar II Disorder is as follows:

It is once again important to note whether or not the bipolar II disorder is current or most recent episode in regards to hypomania or depressed.

                                      Cyclothymia

Cyclothymia is similar to dysthymia in that it is a more chronic version of bipolar disorder as its counterpart is to depression. It can best be identified by the following symptoms: