Bipolar Disorder

By Alyssa Mink

Bipolar disorder is when someone has clear changes in mood, energy, and activity levels. The moods can go from extreme highs (manic episodes) and extreme lows (depressive episodes) but there are also hypomanic episodes which are less severe manic episodes. There are four different types of the bipolar disorder. Bipolar I Disorder is defined by manic episodes that last at least 7 days or by manic symptoms that are so severe, outside help is required. Depressive episodes usually follow for around two or more weeks. Bipolar II Disorder is a pattern of depressive and hypomanic episodes without reaching the full extent of Bipolar I. The next is Cyclothymic Disorder which is defined by numerous periods of hypomanic symptoms as well numerous periods of depressive symptoms lasting for at least 2 years or 1 year for children but the symptoms do not meet the requirements for a hypomanic episode and a depressive episode. The last are other specified and unspecified bipolar and related disorders which do not meet the requirements of the last 3 forms of bipolar disorder. There are many ways to treat bipolar disorders such as medicine and therapy but the most important first step is to recognize that you may need some help then ask for it. You can track your mood with mood charts which may help the people around you see what you’re going through. As always, ask for help and a world awaits you with open arms.

If you find yourself in a crisis, please reach out for help.

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