U.S. National Institutes of Health

Transcript of a page from Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me

What is a “mood disorder” anyway?

Basically, it’s a condition where emotions are derailed for an extended period of time. The main types are:

Bipolar I: Alternating manic + depressive episodes (that’s me)

Bipolar II: Alternating hypomanic + depressive episodes

“hypomania” = mild mania

Cyclothymia: Alternating hypomanic + mild depressive episodes

Unipolar depression: single or recurrent episodes with no mania

Dysthymia: chronic, low-grade depression
…which refer to these mood states:


Mania: up up up up up!

Hypomania: up!

Mixed states: up + down at the same time

Rapid cycling: 4 or more episodes within 12 months

Euthymia: balanced “normal”, brass ring

Dysthymia: chronically low

Mild depression: low

Depression: low low low low low

Note: “Bipolar disorder” + “Manic depression” are the same thing.