Recently Bharatiya Janata Party MP Subramanian Swamy said that Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi is bipolar. By doing this he has destigmatised mental health and only served to focus on why knowledge of it is so important.
Bipolar disorders are brain disorders that cause changes in a person’s mood, energy and ability to function. Formerly called manic depression, is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression).
There are four basic types of bipolar disorder; all of them involve clear changes in mood, energy, and activity levels. These moods range from periods of extremely “up,” elated, and energized behavior (known as manic episodes) to very sad, “down,” or hopeless periods (known as depressive episodes). Less severe manic periods are known as hypomanic episodes.
- Bipolar I Disorder— Manic episodes in this category last for a minimum period of 7 days. The symptoms are usually severe and need to be immediately addressed by hospital care. Depressive episodes could occur too, lasting up to a period of 2 weeks minimum. Both of these i.e manic and depressive episodes could occur together.
- Bipolar II Disorder— defined by a pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes, but not the full-blown manic episodes described above.
- Cyclothymic Disorder — This is also called cyclothymia and is marked by numerous periods of hypomanic symptoms as well numerous periods of depressive. These symptoms could last for at least 2 years in adults and 1 year in children and adolescents. These symptoms do not come under hypomanic and depressive episodes as they do not meet the diagnostic requirements of the same.
- Other Specified and Unspecified Bipolar and Related Disorders— defined by bipolar disorder symptoms that do not match the three categories listed above.