No, that's it. To my knowledge there is no Latin or other complex terminology. Bipolar disorder replaced the term manic depressive disorder. Revisions are always being made to diagnostic practices and these changes are reflected in a manual known as the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual (DSM). It was DSM III that introduced the term bipolar disorder and discriminated between adult and child bipolarity. By the time we get to DSM-IV-TR, bipolar had been further subclassified into type I and type II. It is almost inevitable that when the next revision comes out we will see even more changes.
That's a drawn out answer to your question but I hope you find the explanation useful.
Hey, Kallie. Why don't we add this twist to your question:
Is bipolar an accurate description for the illness?
The mere title to the definitive text on bipolar - Manic-Depressive Illness - indicates there is a strong dissenting opion. The authors, Goodwin and Jamison, contend that the true nature of the illness (which includes recurrent depressions) is cycling - and the cycling doesn't necessarily have to be from pole to pole.
"Bipolar" implies that we simply flip from one polar extreme to the other. Far from the case. Some of us, for instance, cycling from depression to feeling less depressed. Others cycle very slowly, often remaining in "well" states for a long time. The variations go on and on.
By thinking of the illness as a cycling phenomenon, we can orient our thinking toward treating and managing the cycle, rather than the symptoms at either pole. Often, treating the polar symptoms may worsen the cycle.
All this may sound like an abstract esoteric point, but appreciating the distinction may be the difference in finding a treatment that works for you. Which is why I'm for dumping the term bipolar.
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