DSM IV Bipolar Criteria

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The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV is the formal tool used by physicians to diagnose various conditions. The DSM IV bipolar criteria are well organised into the various types of manic depression. Individuals who believe that they have the condition may refer to this resource to determine if an appointment with a physician is necessary.

Bipolar Disorder Types

The DSM IV organises manic depression into different types. Bipolar people experience this disorder in various ways, making it difficult to detect in some cases. The DSM IV serves to help create a standard approach to measuring the symptoms of the mood disorder in order to attribute the symptoms to a specific category.

Bipolar I Disorder

The first form of manic depression outlined in the DSM IV is bipolar I. The criteria for this condition include at least one manic or mixed episode. A manic episode consists of high energy and elation. Mixed episodes consist of depression and mania occurring at the same time. The individual may have had at least one episode of depression as well.

Bipolar II Disorder

Individuals who have bipolar II disorder experience major depression and hypomania. The manic episodes are not quite as drastic as those experienced in bipolar I disorder.

Aside from the two major forms of manic depression, the DSM IV organizes the condition further by outlining the criteria for major depression, mixed, manic and hypomania episodes.

Major Depression

The criteria for major depressive episodes include disinterest or lack of pleasure or a depressed mood. The symptoms should be apparent for at least two consecutive weeks and seven other symptoms make up the criteria including:

? Disrupted sleep patterns
? Sadness
? No interest in pleasurable activities
? Changes in appetite leading to weight loss or gain
? Low energy
? Physical agitation and clumsiness
? Inability to concentrate
? Guilt and low self-esteem
? Preoccupation with death or suicide

It is important to note that the individual experiences at least five of these symptoms, and depressed mood or loss of interest are two necessary elements.

Manic Episodes

The individual experiences elevated or agitated moods for at least one week as well as three or more of the following symptoms:

? Excessive confidence
? Feeling rested with very little sleep
? Talking excessively
? Easily distracted
? Motivated to achieve goals
? Racing thought processes
? Risky behaviours

The DSM IV also outlines the criteria for hypomania and mixed episodes in detail. Bipolar disorder is a complex issue and this publication helps professionals and patients develop a viable approach to diagnosing the condition.

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