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A diagnosis may also be described as rapid-cycling pattern, occurring as 4 or more episodes (mania, hypomania, or major depressive disorder) during a 12-month period.

A seasonal pattern occurs when one type of mood is prevalent at a particular time of the year (i.e., depression in winter) for the 2 previous years.

Over 60% of people with bipolar disorder abuse alcohol or drugs.

The "mood swings" in bipolar disorder that vary between mania and depression can be very abrupt and disabling. Manic and depressive symptoms may occur simultaneously or in quick succession in what is called a mixed state.

People older than 65 years of age are not usually first diagnosed with bipolar disorder.Bipolar disorder, previously known as manic depression, is a serious mental health disorder characterized by periods of excitability or euphoria (mania) alternating with periods of severe depression.These periods of mood swings may last week or months.Cyclothymic Disorder (Cyclothymia): A form of bipolar disorder called cyclothymia involves many periods of more mild hypomania and depression, with less-severe mood swings.These symptoms occur over a period of at least 2 years, when patients have symptoms at least 50% of the time and are not symptom-free for any longer than 2 months.

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