It is essential to know bipolar definition to have a clear idea of what this mental illness is all about. Bipolar definition states that it is as a psychiatric illness that describes a category of mood disorders which has extremes of medical conditions. There are radical emotional changes which are characterized by abnormal heightened mood which are clinically referred to as mania or hypomania, if the occurrence is milder. The other extreme emotional change is the depressive episode where the individual has a low feeling or mixed episode which includes a mixture of low and high emotions.

The bipolar definitionis a manic phase that has serious mood swings, high energy, volatile behavior and people talking more and  incoherently due to their racing thoughts and having less sleep.  The depressed phase is characterized by a sad, lonely mood with intense emotion. . The severity of the mood changes in manic phase can cause hallucinations and mystical experiences.

 During depression, there is low self esteem and slow speech and patients exhibit suicidal tendencies, especially during a mixed episode. Depression and mania are mostly separated by a normal phase but there are cases where they alternate rapidly and this is called rapid cycling.

Bipolar definition is documented with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV (DSM-IV) which is the primary classification system and categorizes the types of the bipolar disorder as four different types, as follows:

1.  Bipolar  I:

This is the classic case of mood disorder with the occurrence of manic and depressive phases where there is at least a single occurrence of manic and depressive phases or mixed episodes. By mixed episode, we refer to the mixed mood of both mania and depression where the patients have high energy levels with low mood. The patient usually has one episode of depression.

2.  Bipolar II:

In this type of disorder, the patient has a predominant depression episode which alternates with hypomania - a milder form of mania. The patient doesn’t experience full manic episodes. This is a tough type to detect and treat. It is characterized by fatigue.  Patients are sluggish mentally and physically.

3.  Cyclothymia:

This is a cycle of emotions that are expressed where both manic and depressive states occur but they do not touch the peak. The manic phase is characterized with a hypomanic state and there are no predominant depressions. It is to be noted that the cyclothymia patient later develops into either of the Bipolar I or Bipolar II. About one fifth of the Bipolar I and II disorder patients experience rapid cycling where the phases of mania and depression alternate around 4 times in 12 months.

4.  Bipolar NOS:

This category of bipolar disorder does not fit any particular type of Bipolar disorders –I, II or cyclothymia.

It is necessary to distinguish the four different types of bipolar disorder in order to facilitate easy and proper treatment.