The bipolar disorders are characterized by cycling mood changes. The affected individual alternates between severe highs (manic or hypomanic episodes) and severe lows (major depressive episodes), often with periods of normal mood in between. The mood changes can be rapid but most often occur gradually.
Bipolar I Disorder is characterized by a manic episode that last at least seven days, severe enough to cause marked impairment in the individual’s daily functioning, hospitalization to prevent harm to self or others, or the presences of psychotic symptoms. Usually, major depressive episodes occur as well.
Bipolar II Disorder is characterized by a pattern of hypomanic and major depressive episodes, but the criteria for a full manic episode are not met. The hypomanic episode is associated with a clear change in daily functioning that is uncharacteristic of the individual.
Cyclothymic Disorder (Cyclothymia) is a milder form of bipolar disorder. Cyclothymic disorder is characterized by at least 2 years of periodic hypomanic and depressive symptoms. However, the symptoms do not meet the diagnostic criteria for any other type of bipolar disorder.
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- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- American Residential Treatment Association
- FIRST STEPS – What to do now that your loved one has been diagnosed with a mental illness.
- DAILY STEPS – Developing a holistic mental health care plan for your loved one.
- DIFFICULT STEPS – Navigating destructive behavior and legal issues with a mentally ill loved one.
Bipolar Disorder Related Offerings at HHC
- Depression and Bipolar Caregivers Support Group
- Depression and Bipolar Support Group
- Living Grace Group
- Family Grace Group
- NAMI Peer to Peer Group
- NAMI Family to Family Group
- Mental Health Coaching