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Mood and Bipolar Disorders

Mood and Bipolar Disorders

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This lesson will identify, describe, and differentiate the primary symptom(s) for each type of the mood disorder.

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Tutorial

What's Covered

This lesson is going to be covering bipolar disorders by looking at:

  1. Mood Disorders
  2. Types of Bipolar Disorders

1.  Mood Disorders

Mood disorders are any kind of psychological disorder that are marked by a major change in a person's mood or their emotions.  A person may feel either very good or very bad about themselves. This is something that was formerly called manic depression, but today, it is called bipolar disorders.

Terms to Know

  • Mood Disorders
  • Psychological disorders marked by major changes in mood or emotion.
  • Bipolar Disorders
  • Mood disorders where a person switches between extremes of mania and possibly depression.

Mood disorders can come in two forms. They can either be a low effect or a high effect. This means they have very low, depressive feelings or very high, manic feelings. Both of these, either feeling very low or very high, can affect a person's thoughts and behaviors as a result of their moods.

ExampleWhen a person is depressed, it can lead to certain periods of inactivity where the person isn't doing very much and is possibly suicidal feelings. Mania can lead to an increased amount of activity or energy and sometimes psychotic symptoms, things like hallucinations or delusions.

The person can switch between both extremes, and these cycles generally occur less than once a year, for three to six months in length. Outside of this normal, longer term cycling, a person can also be rapid cycling. Rapid cycling is when this occurs four or more times a year.

A person can even be ultrarapid cycling, which is to say there are changes only over the course of the day, or ,at the very extreme, a person could be ultradian, which is to say that they experience severe mood changes within a day itself. This is a lot more uncommon.


2. Types of Bipolar Disorders

Bipolar I disorder is a person who's been diagnosed as having just one manic episode even within the entire span of their life. Generally, it's not just one episode of mania, and usually it occurs in multiple times over a person's life. It has to occur in the absence of anything that might cause this, like drugs or medication. There shouldn't be any kind of biological component that's specifically causing it from outside of the body.

Term to Know

  • Bipolar I Disorder
  • A person diagnosed that has had at least one manic episode, in the absence of anything that might cause it, like mediation or drugs.

Depressive episodes are not  needed to be diagnosed with Bipolar I. Mania is sever enough to cause a large impact on a person’s life. It involves a significant loss of control. Often times, a person will have depressive episodes with this, but it is not required for diagnosis.

Bipolar II disorder includes the appearance of both depression and hypomania. Hypomania is a bit of a less severe type of mania, where the symptoms that are being displayed are not quite as extreme as full-blown mania. The person experiences manic symptoms like loss of sleep, a flight of ideas, very fast speech, being easily distracted, and feelings of grandiosity, but the person doesn't experience the more extreme components like hallucinations or delusions, nor is hospitalization usually required.

Term to Know

  • Bipolar II Disorder
  • A form of bipolar disorder that includes the appearance of both depression and hypomania.

A person with hypomania will often display strong pleasure-seeking behaviors, especially sexual pleasure-seeking behaviors. This could be severe, and it could have real consequences on a person's life. A person suffering from bipolar II disorder might evade detection initially because their behavior is seen as something exaggerated or flamboyant. The person may just seem exciting and kind of strange.

It's important to note that just because this person seems like strange or eccentric type of person, it can seriously impair their social lives, as well as their personal lives. It can also put the

person into situations that are physically dangerous as well. It is important to note these things, and to help a person that's experiencing hypomania to seek treatment.

Cyclothymic disorder is a form of bipolar where a person experiences longer periods of symptoms of hypomania or depression generally at least two months in length, but oftentimes longer. Usually they'll experience milder symptoms of these disorders. This is sometimes a disorder that's mistaken for a person's personality.

Term to Know

  • Cyclothymic Disorder
  • A form of bipolar, where a person experiences longer periods (at least 2 months) of hypomania and depression that are generally, but not always, milder.

Somebody might just see someone that has cyclothymic disorder and just think that they're a very depressed or low energy person, because it happens in long periods of time. It can still lead to very serious issues for that person, and it's not always a milder symptom. It can often lead to experiences in a person's life of being very excited or very depressed that can lead to dangerous behaviors again.

Bipolar disorder in general can be treated with drugs like lithium for manic episodes or antidepressants for depressive episodes. These are usually used in conjunction with psychotherapy to help a person cope with the mood episodes that they might be experiencing.

Summary

Mood disorders are any kind of psychological disorder are any kind of psychological disorders that are marked by major changes in mood, either low or high feelings. When a person switches between extremes, it usually occurs over the course of a three to six months but can rarely be much more frequent. There are three types of bipolar disorders: bipolar I, bipolar II, and Cyclothymic. People can have symptoms that range from just seeming eccentric to full mania.

Source: This work is adapted from Sophia Author Erick Taggart

TERMS TO KNOW
  • Cyclothymic Disorder

    A form of bipolar, where a person experiences longer periods (at least 2 months) of hypomania and depression that are generally, but not always, milder.

  • Bipolar II Disorder

    A form of bipolar disorder that includes the appearance of both depression and hypomania.

  • Bipolar I Disorder

    A person diagnosed that has had at least one manic episode, in the absence of anything that might cause it, like medication or drugs.

  • Bipolar Disorders

    Mood disorders where a person switches between extremes of mania and possibly depression.

  • Mood Disorders

    Psychological disorders marked by major changes in mood or emotion.