This is a disorder that appears with unusual shifts in mood, vital energy, activity level which can cause impulsive and aggressive behaviors. There are other instances and conditions where “mood swings” appear and are not necessarily related to Bipolar Disorder.
In this condition we have episodes of depression alternating with episodes of euphoria. Euphoria is a mood episode consisting of unusual high levels of activity, rapid speech, racing mind, elated mood or anger outburst, risky behaviors, not able to sleep or sleeping less, and elevated vital energy.
Time frame of the symptoms is a very important factor to consider as these symptoms have to be present consistently for several days in a row. There could also be a mixed presentation when symptoms show combination of euphoria and depression.
Given the differences in clinical presentation, we approach the diagnosis as Bipolar Spectrum Disorder. This means that there are a variety of diagnostic possibilities. These disorders can include: Cyclothymia, Bipolar Type I and Bipolar Type II.
It is important to know that we are indeed in front of a Bipolar Spectrum Disorder as it is the most underdiagnosed and misdiagnosed condition, causing unnecessary delays on treatment interventions.