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Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar Disorders are distinguished from Depressive Disorders by mood swings and the presence of a manic episode.  There are four basic types of bipolar disorder.  All of them involve clear changes in mood, energy, and activity levels. These moods range from periods of extremely “up,” elated, and energized behavior (known as manic episodes) to very sad, “down,” or hopeless periods (known as depressive episodes). Less severe manic periods are known as hypomanic episodes.

Sometimes a mood episode includes symptoms of both manic and depressive symptoms. This is called an episode with mixed features. People experiencing an episode with mixed features may feel very sad, empty, or hopeless, while at the same time feeling extremely energized.

Basic Types of
Bipolar Disorders

  1. Bipolar I Disorder
  2. Bipolar II Disorder
  3. Cyclothymic Disorder
  4. Unspecified Bipolar
More Information:
Bipolar Disorder for Adults

Bioplar Disorder for Children (below)

Treatment for
​Bipolar Disorder
Symptoms of
Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder, also known as Manic Depression, is a brain disorder that causes shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.
People having a depressive episode may:
People having a manic episode may:
  • Feel very “up,” “high,” or elated
  • Have a lot of energy
  • Have increased activity levels
  • Feel “jumpy” or “wired”
  • Have trouble sleeping
  • Become more active than usual
  • Talk really fast about a lot of different things
  • Be agitated, irritable, or “touchy”
  • Feel like their thoughts are going very fast
  • Think they can do a lot of things at once
  • Do risky things, like spend a lot of money
  • Feel very sad, down, empty, or hopeless
  • Have very little energy
  • Have decreased activity levels
  • Have trouble sleeping, they may sleep too little or too much
  • Feel like they can’t enjoy anything
  • Feel worried and empty
  • Have trouble concentrating
  • Forget things a lot
  • Eat too much or too little
  • Feel tired or “slowed down”
  • Think about death or suicide

Medications generally used to treat bipolar disorder include:

  • Mood stabilizers
  • Atypical antipsychotics
  • Antidepressants


When done in combination with medication, psycho-therapy (can be an effective treatment for bipolar disorder. It can provide support, education, and guidance to people with bipolar disorder and their families. Some psycho-therapy treatments used to treat bipolar disorder include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Family-focused therapy
  • Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy
  • Psychoeducation

Sleep Medications:  People with bipolar disorder who have trouble sleeping usually find that treatment is helpful. However, if sleeplessness does not improve, a doctor may suggest a change in medications.

Bipolar Brief Assessment
The brief Bipolar Assessment is not intended to provide you with a diagnosis.  It can be used to provide you with further insight into whether you should seek counseling.  You should not use the assessment alone to make a determination.  It is just one tool to add to all the factors you can consider in deciding to seek treatment.

Assessment Source:  Mental Health America (MHA)
Bipolar Brief Assessment