What is the difference between Bipolar and Mental disorder?

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  1. H P Roychoudhury profile image41
    H P Roychoudhuryposted 11 years ago

    What is the difference between Bipolar and Mental disorder?

  2. Lisa HW profile image64
    Lisa HWposted 11 years ago

    There are a number of conditions that would fall under the category of "mental disorder".  Bipolar disorder is only one of them.

    Under the category of "mental disorder" comes things like "mood disorders", "personality disorders", and "anxiety disorders".    The condition, "bipolar disorder", falls under the category of "mood disorders".

  3. profile image50
    Aymroposted 11 years ago

    Bipolar illness otherwise known as Bipolar affective disorder is a mental disorder. It is officially classified as such in ICD 10, the International classification of disorders by the World Health Organization. Bipolar disorder was formerly known as Manic depressive disorder.


  4. Wytchewoode profile image59
    Wytchewoodeposted 11 years ago

    Mental disorder? If you look closely at the classification of mental disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in its Diagnostic and Statisitical Manual version IV (DSM-IV) the majority of 'disorders' listed are actually behavioural and not solely mental. How is 'mental disorder' to be defined? When does 'feeling a bit down' become depression? When does being excited or elated become 'manic'.

    Formerly known as manic-depression, bipolar affective disorder is characterised by wide mood swings from excitability and insomnia to depression. Both extremes vary in both intensity and length.

    According to DSM-IV there are several types of bipolar disorder each with differing diagnostic criteria: for example Bipolar Type I is characterised by 'the occurrence of one or more Manic Episodes or Mixed Episodes. Often individuals have also had one or more Major Depressive Episodes'. (DSM-IV Categories 296.0x - 296.89)

    Who hasn't experienced either manic or depressive symptoms at some time? Does this mean it is a mental disorder or is it sometimes just a normal reaction to events and situations, whether the cause is known or unknown, obvious or hidden?

    The difference between bipolar disorder and mental illness  according to the criteria classified by the APA and generally accepted by tradtional mental health professionals is simply that there is a huge range of mental disorders and bipolar is just one of the many.

    Alternatively, it could be argued that bipolar disorder is not a discrete disorder, if it is a disorder at all. Instead of trying to neatly classify and pigeonhole a patient into a particular category of disorder, we should look more closely at the individual and their presenting symptoms in a wider personal and social context. It may be that the individual is less sick than an irrational society that seeks to label what in many contexts could be defined as perfectly rational behaviour.

    DSM-IV Under Review http://hubpages.com/hub/DSM-IV-review

  5. advisor4qb profile image76
    advisor4qbposted 11 years ago

    Lisa HW is correct.  I am a Psychology/Social Science major.  Bipolar is one of many disorders.  In bipolar disorder, the behavior swings from manic to depressed with nothing in between.  They have highs and lows.

    There is also Unipolar, which is usually depressed all the time.

  6. Denise K Zimmerma profile image61
    Denise K Zimmermaposted 11 years ago

    There is no difference as far as I know.  Sometimes I feel like a revolving door not knowing what end is up. Bipolar is a mental disorder or chemical imbalance,  Mental Illness is much more deeper. is it not?

  7. profile image51
    Panicposted 10 years ago

    There are many mental disorders. Bipolar disorder is a mental illness in which one faces unpredictable mood swings ranging from depressive symptoms to manic symptoms. It is not necessary that a person has depression to be labeled as bipolar disorder, episodes of mania are sufficient. The most frequent age of onset is between 20 and 30 years but the variations are still present.

  8. profile image0
    Millionheirposted 10 years ago

    Bipolar is classified as a mental disorder but actually growing scientific evidence is claiming it's more of an emotional. In bipolar individuals  under stress experience highs and lows that impact their judgment.


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