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Bipolar Disorder (Children and Adolescents)

Mental Health

09/03/2008

Question:

what does bipolar mean?

Answer:

Bipolar disorder (previously known as manic-depression) is a psychiatric mood disorder that involves episodes of mania and depression (i.e., switching between two points, hence the term bipolar; bi, meaning two, and polar meaning point).

A manic episode is defined as a distinct period of excessively elevated (i.e., inappropriately happy) or irritable (i.e., temper-tantrums and rages out-of-proportion to events) mood. An episode of depression is defined as a distinct period of sad or irritable mood or markedly diminished interest/pleasure in most activities. Mood symptoms wax and wane, are often unrelated to environmental triggers, and represent a significant change from the person’s typical functioning.

Hope that helps answer your question. Best wishes.

Related Resources:

Bipolar Disorder

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Response by:

Nicholas   Lofthouse, PhD Nicholas Lofthouse, PhD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University