Is Bipolar A Mental Disorder?

Mental disorders refer to mental health conditions wherein a person’s mood, thinking and behavior are affected. It is often referred to as mental illness or psychiatric disorder. A mental disorder causes significant distress or impairment of performance at personal and professional fronts. The changes in the mental behavior of such individuals can be a one-time occurrence or persistent, relapsing and remitting. A mental disorder is a group of disorders and is not a single disease. People suffering from mental disorders have fluctuations in mood, energy levels and thinking ability.

Is Bipolar A Mental Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness wherein a person mood lingers between mania and depression. Mania refers to the elated mood of an individual whereas depression refers to the sad low phase. Bipolar disorder is commonly seen in young adults aged about 25 and it is also seen in teenagers. Both men and women are equally affected by bipolar disorder. In the United States, the occurrence of bipolar disorder is 2.6% and most of the diagnosed cases are classified as severe. A bipolar disorder can be due to damage of brain cells in the hippocampus, alterations in the level of neurotransmitters and mitochondrial problems.

A bipolar disorder requires immediate medical attention to avoid progression of the disease to severe mental illnesses. The treatment plan for mental disorder includes psychotherapy, medications, lifestyle changes and counseling. This plan has helped many people to overcome their bipolar disorder.

The symptoms of bipolar disorders have manic and depressive modes swings and the mental state may be extended for long periods without any symptoms. The mood swings can occur simultaneously or in rapid sequence.

Individuals suffering from severe bipolar disorder have symptoms of mania or depression along with delusions and hallucinations. The psychotic expression of these feelings indicates the severity of the disease. Many people presenting psychotic symptoms are misdiagnosed as schizophrenic.

The elevated mood may seem to be good in people who had been under depression, but this sudden change in mood is actually reflexive of bipolar disorder. The elated mood will be highly elated and is more than required for the situation. The episode ends with irritated behavior and out of the comfortable zone.

People suffering from bipolar disorder are impulsive and end up making the wrong judgments. People suffering from bipolar disorders can have symptoms of mania and hypomania. Hypomania is similar to mania, but with decreased intensity of elated mood. People suffering from hypomania do not produce any psychotic symptoms.

Hypomania may seem to be good and may become center of attraction in social gatherings but in reality, they are suffering from a mental disorder with episodes of mania throughout life. The suicidal tendency is the worst impact on patients suffering from bipolar disorder. People become suicidal even in manic states.

Like elated mood, depressed mood is also not good for mental health. People suffering from depression experience depressive episodes which makes them difficult to make decisions in day-to-day activities. Depressive people have insomnia and they find it difficult to fall asleep and also to stay asleep. Depressive episodes make the person pessimist, they will always have the feeling of guilt and helplessness and negative thinking will be their specialty and have a high suicidal tendency. Inability in decision making can be seen nearly every day. Depression associated with bipolar disorder requires an effective treatment plan for fruitful results.

Bipolar spectrum is not just about mania and depression, a number of mental disorders such as pulse control disorders, anxiety disorders, and personality disorders are included in it.


Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder characterized by swings in the mood of the patients from mania to depression and vice versa. The mood swings can last for a long duration of time making the diagnosis difficult. A person diagnosed with bipolar disorder should seek immediate medical attention to avoid its progression.

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:February 26, 2019

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