Bipolar disorders are characterized by mood swings that can affect any person at any time.  The person would feel sudden, unprecedented outbursts of mania, elation or euphoria.  Sometimes, one could also feel outbursts of aggression, rage or violence which he cannot explain even if he is normal.  All these emotional outbursts are beyond the control of the individual. 

Earlier, these kinds of behavioral problems were called  manic-depressive illness.  Psychiatrists today are able to scientifically prove that this kind of behavior is a disorder that can be categorized as bipolar disorder.  The reason for the term bipolar being used, is the patient undergoes sudden changes from being very happy or euphoric at one end of the pole to being very sad and depressed at the other end of the pole.  Hence, as the patient experiences both the extreme emotional poles it is called  bipolar and disorder because this behavior is not orderly or normal.

Scientists today are able to categorize the different phases of bipolar disorders according to the severity or degree of the occurrence of mood swings.  Hence, for a slight variation it is called Bipolar I, Bipolar II, Cyclothamia for cyclic patterns or rapid cycling.  This spectrum of bipolar disorders is called  bipolar disorder types. In overview, all bipolar disorders tend to show the same symptoms, but it is the degree of display of aggression or sadness by which the particular type of disorder is classified. 

One very important question to ponder  is why this disorder happens. Considering that over two million American adults become victims of this mental disorder, a general awareness about this disorder is very essential.  At the outset, experts believe that a combination of genetic defects and environmental factors are responsible for these maladies in people.  Different external factors such as seasonal changes or the sudden death of a dear one or substance abuse or use of certain prescription drugs could trigger the onset of an episode of bipolar disorders.

These bipolar disorders display certain types of mood swings.  In an episode of mania, the period of occurrence is very clear.  The event itself is marked by the abnormal behavior of elation or irritation which could last over a week or so.  The milder display of mania is referred to as hypomania could last for about 4 days. The other end of the spectrum, which is depression , would typically last for a minimum of 2 weeks.  The person is desolate and would not be involved in any activity and would be very dull.  In the mixed type of this disorder, the individual goes through both mania and depression for more than a week.  The different types of bipolar disorder are thus classified according to the degree of the emotion displayed.