St. Louis Psychologists and Counseling Information and Referral                  

Home                            About Us                         Contact Us                       Website Map












Bipolar Disorder


Articles of Interest:




Bipolar Disorder




Study: Routine


Eases Bipolar






Bipolar Disorder:


What is it Really?




Mood Swings and


Bipolar Disorder




Bipolar Disorder:


Manic Episode




Bipolar I or Bipolar


II Disorder?




What is the cause


of Bipolar






 Cause of Bipolar




Biological and


Hereditary Aspects




Does stress have


any effect on


Bipolar Disorder?




Bipolar Disorder






Psychotherapy for


Bipolar Disorder






Therapy for


Bipolar Disorder:


What really



Website Map/All Articles 


Bipolar I Disorder diagnosis or is it Bipolar II? 

You may be considered for a bipolar diagnosis when you have had a full manic episode for at least one week, where you display an abnormally high or irritable mood, along with at least three other symptoms of mania.  Also, the episode may include psychotic features such as hallucinations and/or delusions.  When the symptoms of mania are much less severe and the impairment is very limited you may be experiencing a hypomanic episode. 

According to the DSM-IV, you may experience either a bipolar I or bipolar II disorder. People with bipolar I disorder have at least one full manic episode and at least one major depressive episode. Most of them experience some alternation between the episodes, for example, months of depression followed by months of mania.  Some have mixed episodes however, in which they swing from mania to depression and back again, sometimes even on the same day. 


Bipolar II Disorder:

Individuals with bipolar II disorder, or those considered hypomanic, are mildly manic with episodes alternating with major depressive episodes over a period of time.  Mood episodes tend to recur among people with either type of bipolar disorder if they do not receive treatment.  If an individual experiences four or more episodes within a one-year period, they may be classified as rapid cycling.  If their episodes vary with the seasons, their disorder is further classified as seasonal. 

Surveys from around the world have found that approximately between 1% and 1.5% of all adults suffer from bipolar disorder at any given time.  Bipolar I disorder is actually more common than bipolar II disorder.  According to research, the disorders are equally common among women and men.  However, women may experience more depressive and fewer manic episodes than men, and rapid cycling is actually more common among women.  The prevalence of the disorders is the same across all social and economic classes as well as ethnic groups.  The age of onset of bipolar disorder is usually between the ages of 15 and 44 years old. 

If untreated, bipolar disorder may be quite persistent with either manic or depressive episodes lasting for several months each.  Sometimes, periods of normal mood may last for two or more years while others may last for only weeks or months at a time.  Also, in the absence of treatment, manic and depressive episodes tend to recur.  Generally, when episodes recur, the intervening periods of normality seem to grow shorter and shorter. 

When an individual experiences several periods of hypomanic symptoms and mild depressive symptoms, the DSM- IV assigns a diagnosis of cyclothymic disorder.  The milder symptoms of this form of bipolar disorder will usually continue for two or more years, interrupted occasionally by normal periods which may last for only days or possibly weeks.  Similar to the bipolar I and bipolar II disorders, this disorder usually begins in adolescence or early adulthood and is equally common among women and men.  At least 0.4 % of the population develops cyclothymic disorder.  Also, in some of these cases, the milder symptoms eventually bloom into a full bipolar I or bipolar II disorder. 

Information from Abnormal Psychology Fourth Edition by Ronald Comer

Additional information and webpage by Paul Susic MA Licensed Psychologist Ph.D Candidate (Health Psychology

Recommend this Page on Google Plus 

Web Psychtreatment.Com

Mental Health Diagnosis - DSM-IV Diagnosis and Codes: In Alphabetical Order and Psychiatric Medications













Ads by Yahoo/Bing

Ads by Google

Copyright 1999    [].    All rights reserved.   Revised: October 01, 2013     636- 300-9922