Bipolar disorder is classified by the DSM IV as a mood disorder. Therefore in order to understand it one must understand what a mood disorder is. A mood disorder affects a person’s emotions dramatically enough to disrupt normal life. It does not just affect the patient but also his/her friends and family. The patient is distressed most of the time and suffers in his/her social, work, and love aspects of life. For example: Johnny is suffering from mayor depression, he keeps having thoughts of death, and is uninterested in spending time with his friends, now his friends are concerned and are wondering what is going on with their beloved friend. Typically mood disorders run in families, they are caused by chemical imbalances of serotonin (involved in sleep, memory and depression), norepinephrine(sugar levels in blood), and dopamine(regulates movement and emotion)(Langwith 2009).
Mood disorders are divided into two categories, unipolar and bipolar. Furthermore unipolar is made up of only one mood state: depression, there are no highs and lows. On the contrary bipolar is made up of a high mood state and a low mood state. The “high” on bipolar is mania, during thoughts, poor judgment. A patient experiencing mania may come up with big ideas and projects that may result in good or terrible consequences. The “low” mood state in bipolar is mayor depression; characterized by sadness, inferiority, feelings of worthlessness, emptiness, thoughts of death, diminished ability to concentrate, insomnia or oversleeping, and significant weight gain or loss(Langwith, 2009).
Nonetheless there are two categories for bipolar disorder; bipolar I and bipolar II. “Bipolar I consist of at least one manic episode lasting one week or any duration if hospitalization is required, patient may lose touch with reality to the point of being psychotic”(Langwith, 2009,p 28-29). In bipolar one either mania or a mixed episode must take place. The mixed episode is at least one