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Forms of Bipolar Disorder

There are a number of different forms or classifications for bipolar disorder (manic depression) such as Bipolar I or II and Cyclothymia. Found here are resources specific to each of these forms.
  1. Bipolar I Disorder (2)
  2. Bipolar II Disorder (4)
  3. Cyclothymia (7)
  4. Related Disorders (7)

The Bipolar Disorders - Forms and Moods
Within the spectrum of bipolar disorders, there are three main forms: bipolar 1, bipolar 2 and cyclothymia, which are characterized by either mania or hypomania and depression. This is a far cry from the days when manic depression was the term that covered all types.

Diagnosing Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified
There are no specific criteria for a doctor to use when diagnosing bipolar disorder not otherwise specified (NOS). Bipolar disorder NOS is more of a catch-all category then an actual type of this disorder. Your doctor will use this diagnosis to document that you have symptoms of bipolar disorder, but your symptoms do not meet the requirements for a diagnosis of bipolar 1 disorder, bipolar 2 disorder or cyclothymic disorder. The DSM gives a few examples for when this diagnosis may be given.

Bipolar I vs. Bipolar II
What are the differences between Bipolar I and Bipolar II Disorders? This short article addresses this question.

Classifications of Bipolar Disorder
Researchers, clinicians, and practitioners must consider a wide array of factors in order to codify each diagnosis. In response, classification systems, subsets and specifiers have been developed in an attempt to standardize the diagnostic process.

The Evolving Bipolar Spectrum
This article argues for the necessity of a partial return to Kraepelin's broad concept of manic-depressive illness, and proposes definitions--and provides prototypical cases--to illustrate the rich clinical phenomenology of bipolar subtypes I through IV.

The Prevalent Clinical Spectrum of Bipolar Disorders
Based on the author's work and that of collaborators, as well as other contemporaneous research, this article reaffirms the existence of a broad bipolar spectrum between the extremes of psychotic manic-depressive illness and strictly defined unipolar depression.

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