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Bipolar Disorder

  • In: Encyclopedia of Epidemiology
  • Edited by: Sarah Boslaugh
  • Subject:Public Health (general), Public Health Research Methods , Epidemiology & Biostatistics

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness characterized by drastic mood swings from very high (manic phase) to very low (depressive phase). The diagnosis of bipolar disorder is usually based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association (fourth edition) criteria, a tool developed by the American Psychiatric Association for clinicians.

The DSM-IV includes two types of bipolar disorder diagnoses, Bipolar I and Bipolar II. Bipolar I disorder is identified when a person presents with one lifetime occurrence of either a manic episode or a mixed episode. Although bipolar disorder is known for the polarization of moods, a diagnosis of Bipolar I does not require the presence of a depressive state. The manic episode alone can satisfy the criterion for Bipolar ...

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