Bipolar Disorder (cont.)
Roxanne Dryden-Edwards, MD
Dr. Roxanne Dryden-Edwards is an adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist. She is a former Chair of the Committee on Developmental Disabilities for the American Psychiatric Association, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and Medical Director of the National Center for Children and Families in Bethesda, Maryland.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- Bipolar disorder facts
- What is bipolar disorder?
- What is the history of bipolar disorder?
- What are the types of bipolar disorder?
- What are bipolar disorder causes and risk factors?
- What are bipolar disorder symptoms and signs in adults, teenagers, and children?
- How is bipolar disorder diagnosed?
- What illnesses often coexist with bipolar disorder?
- What are bipolar disorder medications and other treatments? Are there any home remedies or alternative treatments for bipolar disorder?
- How is bipolar disorder treated during pregnancy and the postpartum period?
- What are complications and prognosis/effects over time of bipolar disorder?
- Can bipolar disorder be prevented?
- Where can people find more information about bipolar disorder?
- Where can people find support to help them cope with bipolar disorder?
- Bipolar Disorder (Mania) FAQs
- Find a local Psychiatrist in your town
What are the types of bipolar disorder?
Bipolar disorder has a number of types, including bipolar type I and bipolar type II disorder. Depending on how rapidly the mood swings occur, the episodes of bipolar disorder can also be classified as mixed (mood disordered episodes that last less than the usual amount of time required for the diagnosis) or rapid cycling (four or more mood disordered episodes per year). About two-fifths of people with bipolar disorder have at least one period of rapid cycling over the course of their lifetime. For every type and duration of the illness, the sufferer experiences significant problems with his or her functioning at school, at work, or socially, may require hospitalization, or may have psychotic symptoms (for example, delusions or hallucinations). The diagnosis of bipolar I disorder requires that the individual has at least one manic episode but does not require a history of major depression. Bipolar II disorder is diagnosed if the person has experienced at least one episode of major depression and at least one episode of hypomania (a milder form of mania).
A mixed episode is defined as a period of time in which both the criteria to diagnose a major depressive episode and a manic episode are fully met, except for the duration requirements of each. The mood problem (manic alternating with depressive symptoms) takes place nearly every day for a total of at least a week.
What are bipolar disorder causes and risk factors?
One frequently asked question about bipolar disorder is if it is hereditary. As with most other mental disorders, bipolar disorder is not directly passed from one generation to another genetically. Rather, it is the result of a complex group of genetic, psychological, and environmental factors. Genetically, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia have much in common, in that the two disorders share a number of the same risk genes. However, both illnesses also have some genetic factors that are unique.
Stress has been found to be a significant contributor to the development of most mental illnesses, including bipolar disorder. For example, gay, lesbian, and bisexual people are thought to experience increased emotional struggles associated with the multiple social stressors that are linked to coping with reactions to their homosexuality or bisexuality in society.
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