For About and By Caregivers

Subscribe to our bi-monthly publication Today's Caregiver magazine

  + Larger Font | - Smaller Font


Share This Article

What is the Span of Bipolar Disorder?

Periods of the disorder do reoccur throughout a person life if they have had it before. Those who are being treated do lead quality lives, but about 25% of those diagnosed have regular symptoms throughout.

There are two major levels of bipolar disorder ranging from bipolar I, bipolar II, but there is also a state known as rapid cycling that can be damaging as well. Bipolar I disorder is the most common illness, characterized by recurring moments of depression and mania. Bipolar II disorder is different because it is not dependent on extreme mania; instead moderate moments of mania are evident with depression. The other form of the disorder is called rapid cycling, which is when a person has numerous episodes within a year. This is not a specific type of bipolar disorder because it is thought that any bipolar sufferer can experience this only to return to their primary form of the illness, within a short time period.

Diagnosis Types
  • Bipolar I Disorder is characterized by:

    - One or more manic episode
    - Major depressive episode usually, although not always
    - Episodes are not due to a medical condition or prior substance abuse
    - Cannot be attributed to a psychotic disorder
    - 90% recurrence in episodes
    - Extreme social and familial consequences
    - Suicide rate is as high as 20% in some instances

  • Bipolar II Disorder is characterized by:

    One or more depressive episode, with at least momentary hypomania (a reduced state of mania)
    - No extremely heightened mood levels or emotions evident
    - Often induced by substance abuse and prior medical condition
    - Not the same as schizophrenia, although symptoms may appear similar

  • Rapid-Cycling Disorder characterized by:

    - 4 or more episodes within one year 
    - 5-15 % of Bipolar sufferers face rapid-cycling
    - 75% of those are women
    - Extreme cycling can occur numerous times within one day

  • There are 4 lesser-known forms of bipolar disorder and they include:

    - Bipolar III Disorder – Mild depression and hypomania
    - Bipolar IV Disorder – Depression often without any mania
    - Bipolar V Disorder – Depression with NO mania
    - Bipolar VI Disorder – Mania without depression

In most scenarios, living a quality life is expected if the illness is treated and properly managed. Trouble begins when the disorder goes untreated, as it does worsen and increase your manic and depressive states. While the disease is incurable, therapy and routine treatment can insure a respectable life and a manageable one at that.

Printable Version Printable Version


Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Youtube Follow us on Pinterest Google Plus