In other words, is there a bipolar disorder that is just mania or does it always come with the depressive side and vice versa? Can you actually JUST have mania?
This is a really good question and one I had to do a bit of looking around to find the answer. Bipolar Disorder, and others, are all defined in a book known as the DSM. Essentially the DSM contains all the criteria that any given disorder has… a quick search for ‘bipolar DSM criteria’ will give more detailh, but ere is a summation of what I found and my take on it…
Is the person you’re speaking about ever depressed? That is a key feature of bipolar disorder. Bipolar Disorder Type 1 is essentially at least one manic episode mixed in with depression. So from that criteria I would say that if a person is only manic then they may not be diagnosed as bipolar. Again the depression is the key. But moving deeper into the DSM there is a ‘Bipolar NOS (Not Otherwise Specified)’… and it goes on to mention how bipolar is a spectrum… So part of me wonders that maybe if someone were manic most of the time, but had at least a few depressive episodes, maybe they would diagnose as Bipolar NOS? I honestly don’t know and would of course defer to any psychiatrist’s diagnosis. Suffice to say the best thing to do would be to ask a psychiatrist. It does sound possible though.