Bipolar Disorder

(Also Known As: Mood Disorder, Manic Bipolar Disorder, Bipolar Mood Disorder, Bipolar Affective Disorder)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar Disorder is an acute mental illness characterized by severe mood swings that can result in distractions in one’s life. These remarkable mood swings are seen as very high feelings or being energetic then suddenly switching to being sad and miserable and then back again.

A person having Bipolar Disorder has mood swings that are quite different from ordinary mood swings that one experiences everyday. He or she may go through extreme “High” emotion (Mania) and then “Low” feeling or sadness (Depression) in an alternating manner. That’s why Bipolar Disorder is also known as manic depression. In this way, Bipolar Disorder may cause broken relationships, poor performance at school or work, and can even lead to suicide.

There are four different types of Bipolar Disorder:

  • Bipolar I
  • Bipolar II
  • Cyclothymic disorder
  • Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (NOS)

Bipolar Disorder is classified with the above types because mental health specialists believe that the effect of this disorder varies for different people. Also treatment is approached differently with each of these types, depending on the person’s particular needs identified once a specialist diagnoses which type of Bipolar Disorder that person falls under.1


There are other names or medical terms for this disorder. These are:

  • Manic depression
  • Manic-depressive disorder
  • Manic-depressive illness
  • Bipolar mood disorder
  • Bipolar affective disorder

Could You Have Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar Disorder Topics

Related Conditions

Anxiety Disorder NOS – Irrational Fears, Worries, Anxiety, Depression, Mood Changes
Dysthymic Disorder – Mental Illness, Mood Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Bipolar
Schizophrenia – Paranoid, Mental Illness, Delusion, Hallucinations, Mood Changes, Depression