Bipolar I patients experience one or more manic episodes during their lives in which they have an abnormally elevated mood or mixed moods (highs & lows) lasting at least seven days and these episodes require hospital care.
Bipolar II disorder is similar to bipolar I, but in this case, the patient experiences multiple highs and lows with the highs not as extreme as to be labeled manic.
Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (BP-NOS)
BP-NOS is diagnosed when the person's systems do not fall into the bipolar I or II criteria either because the episodes are short in duration or they have few symptoms. However, the patient's behavior is obviously not within his or her normal range.
Cyclothymia is the mildest form. Patients experience fairly mild mood swings, both highs and lows, for at least two years.
Rapid cycling is diagnosed when patients experience four or more episodes of mania or depression per year.
Bipolar disease is a mood disorder in which patients experience unpredictable and dramatic mood swings. According to the National Institute of Mental Health there are several types including bipolar I, bipolar II, bipolar disorder not otherwise specified BP-NOS), cyclothymia and rapid cycling. The disorder is usually treated with medication and psychiatric drugs.