Bipolar Disorder Glossary


Relatively short but severe, for example an acute mood swing.


Complimentary to the main course of treatment


A class of medication developed primarily to prevent epileptic seizures, it has also been found to be useful when treating mania


Originally developed to reduce psychotic episodes. It has been found useful to treat Bipolar Disorder or more severe depression.

Bipolar I

A type of Bipolar Disorder characterised by at least one episode of full blown mania. Doesn't require an episode of depression fro diagnosis.

Bipolar II

A type of Bipolar Disorder characterised by at least one episode of major depressive disorder along with one or more episode of hypomania.

Bipolar NOS (Not otherwise Specified)

A type of Bipolar Disorder that's characterised by manic, hypomanic or depressive episodes that don't fit any of the other categories and can't be ascribed to unipolar depression.


A state of profound lack of movement and language, often including odd or unusual physical and verbal responses to stimuli.

Circadian Rhythm

An individual's biological pattern of sleep

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

AKA. CBT A therapy that works on the intersection between thoughts, feelings and behaviours.


A medical condition that presents along with and often independent from another conditions (eg. Depression and Anxiety)


A muted form of Bipolar Disorder that nevertheless interferes with a person's life. It involves multiple episodes of hypomania and depressive symptoms that don't meet the criteria for mania or major depression.


The return of symptoms that had been under control, relapse


The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. A book that describes the criteria for diagnosing various mental illnesses.


A neurotransmitter that is linked ti feelings of pleasure and reward.


Moods considered to be in a normal range.


Having an excessive interest or involvement in sexual activity.


A medical term for high energy


An elevated mood that doesn't qualify for full blown mania.

Maintenance Dose

An amount of prescription medication that's intended to prevent the onset of symptoms rather than treating existing symptoms

Major Depressive Disorder

Extreme low mood characterised by symptoms such as despair, fatigue and loss of interest in activities.


An extremely elevated mood typically characterised by euphoria, excessive energy, impulsivity, nervousness etc.

Manic Depression

Another name for Bipolar Disorder


A mental state focussing on the present moment

Mood Chart

A graph that shows the rise and fall of mood levels over time.

Mood Disorder

A psychiatric condition that results in persistently disrupted moods and/or mood regulation

Mood Stabilizer

A medication that reduces frequency and/or severity of episodes of depression and/or mania

Off Label

A legal and legitimate use of prescription medication to treat symptoms that the FDA didn't officially approve it to treat.

Presenting Symptoms

Signs of discomfort that prompt a visit to a doctor.