What are the DSM Criteria for Bipolar Disorder?

Before we can get an understanding of the DSM criteria for bipolar disorder, it is important for us to learn first what the meaning of the condition bipolar disorder is. Bipolar disorder is a condition that exhibits more than wild mood swings. However, this is not simply a situation of a person where he or she is “hot” one day and then “cold” the next day. In fact, bipolar disorder is already classified by psychiatrists and other mental health experts as an actual disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders IV or otherwise known as the DSM-IV TR. So what are the DSM criteria for bipolar disorder?

More about Bipolar Disorder

Understanding the technical aspects of the bipolar condition will allow us to recognize the signs and as well as the symptoms of the disorder aside from the obvious mood swings. The DSM IV TR characterizes the Bipolar Disorder as a type of condition which the patients have significant mood changes that usually last from weeks to months at a time. Patients will usually experience at least one manic episode where the mood is described as elevated; and is followed by a period of normalcy or balance for at least 2 months. After this time frame, the patient will also experience an onset of major depressive episode. However, we should be aware that the mood changes caused by bipolar disorder are different from the ones exhibited by schizophrenia, psychotic disorder, delusion disorder and schizoaffective disorder. Aside from this, the mood disorder is also different from the one caused by substance abuse or consumption such as sleeping pills and as well as prescribed amphetamines.

The patient with bipolar disorder experience manic episodes where the mood is said to be elevated. This can show high levels of energy, difficulty in focusing on one project and as well as the presence of many physical and as well as sexual activity. Because of this condition, some patients experiencing manic episodes are required to undergo hospitalization in order to protect not just the patient but as well as other people that can be harmed. Nevertheless, when the depressed mood sets in, patients will encounter little to no energy even in completing the basic of the daily tasks. Patients can also be filled with guilt, self doubt and as well as thoughts of death or suicidal ideation. The DSM-IV reports that approximately 10 to 15% of the bipolar patient’s complete suicide. On the other hand, the manic and the depressed phases can last for as long as 3 weeks.

Understanding the Subtypes

There are actually subtypes of bipolar disorder. Bipolar 2 Disorder tends to show patients that are incapable of reaching full-on manic stage. However, they experience hypomanic episode where the mood is elevated and as well as the energy but are more easily controlled. Nevertheless, bipolar 2 patients also experience longer or chronic depressed episodes. On the other hand the Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder patients will experience at least 4 changes in episodes within the timeframe of 1 year. Mood swings that happen in a day are usually referred to as ultra-ultra rapid cycling.

These are some of the facts with regards to the bipolar disorder and the DSM Criteria.

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