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what is bipolar disorder? by bingwen

bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic-depressive illness, is a mental health condition that causes extreme shifts in mood, energy, thinking, and behavior; people with bipolar disorder experience periods of emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression). it is a chronic condition, but chronic doesn’t mean untreatable. (see our article on bipolar treatments!) 

there are three main types of bipolar disorder: bipolar I disorder, bipolar II disorder, and cyclothymic disorder. to go into more detail, bipolar I disorder is the most severe type of bipolar disorder, and it is characterized by at least one manic episode – where as people with bipolar II disorder do not have manic episodes. both experience hypomanic and depressive episodes. a milder form of bipolar disorder is cyclothymic disorder, where one commonly goes through many periods of hypomanic and depressive symptoms, but the symptoms are not severe enough to meet the full criteria for a hypomanic or depressive episode (episodes usually last a few days). 

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