Types of Bipolar Disorder

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People fall on different sides of the bipolar spectrum, within which there are various subtypes and types of bipolar disorder.

Depending on the type you're diagnosed with, the intensity and frequency of your bipolar moods and symptoms may differ.

So, it's essential to be aware of your type of bipolar disorder so you can know the necessary steps to take to treat it.

The most common and most severe type is Bipolar I disorder.

This type of bipolar disorder is often diagnosed when a person experiences regular occurrences of manic episodes, which cause increased energy, risky behavior, irritability, etc., and a long-lasting depression phase.

Bipolar II, on the other hand, is less severe than bipolar I disorder, with patients experiencing major depressive episodes with occasional mania.

Often, people diagnosed with this condition can recover fully after an episode; however, when left untreated for a long while, there's an increased chance of developing other mental health conditions.

Treatment options for this condition are medication and therapy for bipolar disorder.

What makes this condition different from other types of bipolar disorder, you may ask?

Read on to gain in-depth knowledge on the five types of bipolar disorder.

Bipolar Disorder Therapists in Colorado

Andreea Felea, LPC

Andreea Felea, LPC

Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Bonna Machlan, Ph.D., LPC, CAS

Bonna Machlan, Ph.D., LPC, CAS

Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Mackenzie Batson, LPCC

Mackenzie Batson, LPCC

Aurora, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Vanessa Dewitt, LCSW

Vanessa Dewitt, LCSW

Pueblo, Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Arias Gonzales, MS, LPC, NCC, EMDR-Trained

Arias Gonzales, MS, LPC, NCC, EMDR-Trained

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Randal Thomas, SWC

Randal Thomas, SWC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Derek Bonds, LPC

Derek Bonds, LPC

Pueblo, Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Sherry Rice, LPCC, ADDC

Sherry Rice, LPCC, ADDC

Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Megan Brausam, LPC

Megan Brausam, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 481-3518
Vanessa Curran, LPCC

Vanessa Curran, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424

Bipolar I Disorder

Bipolar I disorder is characterized by long periods of mania episodes and depression lasting several days or weeks.

Amongst the various types of bipolar disorder, bipolar I disorder is the most severe as it often requires the bipolar patient to receive Hospital care to recover.

A person diagnosed with bipolar I disorder may experience major manic, hypomanic, and depressive episodes.

Warning signs of manic episodes often resemble a decreased need for sleep, increased activity, uncontrollable racing thoughts, hallucinations, increased risky behavior, etc.

When a person experiences these symptoms, it's best to receive immediate Hospital care, as manic episodes can be extreme and dangerous and make it difficult to function properly.

With the right treatment, bipolar I disorder symptoms can be adequately managed and improve over time.

Bipolar II Disorder

Although extreme mood highs and lows are the primary factors that encapsulate all types of bipolar disorder, not everyone with this condition will experience episodes of depression.

A person with bipolar II disorder will experience a period of major depressive episodes with occasional hypomania, whereas a person with bipolar I may or may not.

Since bipolar II is less severe than bipolar I, people affected can often return to their normal daily functioning after an episode.

However, people with bipolar II disorder are more likely to develop other mental health conditions, such as substance use disorder or increased anxiety, both of which can aggravate symptoms of hypomania or depression.

The treatment for bipolar II are much like those for bipolar I: talk therapy and medications.

It is essential to note that treatment for bipolar disorder is individualized, so you must consult a doctor to determine which best suits you.

Cyclothymic Disorder

Otherwise referred to as cyclothymia, the cyclothymic disorder is often associated with regular episodes of depression and hypomania lasting an extended period (at least two years in adults).

It is one of the rare types of bipolar disorder as its symptoms are milder and do not entirely fit the diagnostic criteria for depressive or manic episodes.

People with cyclothymia often get a late diagnosis because of the belief that their symptoms "aren't as serious" as other known symptoms of bipolar disorder.

This, however, is not the case.

Cyclothymic disorder can have a significant impact on one's life.

Although not as severe as bipolar I or II disorder, cyclothymia causes frequent emotional highs and lows.

With this disorder, there's a noticeable shift in your mood, which can interfere with your ability to function.

Thus, it is essential to seek medical help once you notice symptoms of cyclothymia.

Bipolar Disorder Therapists in Colorado

Bipolar Disorder Therapists in Colorado

Andreea Felea, LPC

Andreea Felea, LPC

Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Bonna Machlan, Ph.D., LPC, CAS

Bonna Machlan, Ph.D., LPC, CAS

Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Mackenzie Batson, LPCC

Mackenzie Batson, LPCC

Aurora, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Vanessa Dewitt, LCSW

Vanessa Dewitt, LCSW

Pueblo, Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Arias Gonzales, MS, LPC, NCC, EMDR-Trained

Arias Gonzales, MS, LPC, NCC, EMDR-Trained

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Randal Thomas, SWC

Randal Thomas, SWC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Derek Bonds, LPC

Derek Bonds, LPC

Pueblo, Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Sherry Rice, LPCC, ADDC

Sherry Rice, LPCC, ADDC

Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Megan Brausam, LPC

Megan Brausam, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 481-3518
Vanessa Curran, LPCC

Vanessa Curran, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424

Mixed Bipolar State

The mixed bipolar state is one of the types of bipolar disorder which occurs when a person experiences mania and depression simultaneously or as part of a single episode.

Anyone can develop a mixed bipolar state; however, this condition is more common in adolescents who develop bipolar disorder at a younger age.

Symptoms of a mixed bipolar state can be seen when a person experiences signs of a mania episode, such as high energy, overactivity, or irritability concurrently with a depression phase.

An individual with mixed features of a bipolar state can feel happiness one minute and intense sadness the next.

This may seem impossible; however, a mixed bipolar state is much more common than people realize.

Experts believe people who experience mixed features of bipolar disorder are at higher risk of attempting suicide or substance abuse than those with bipolar depression episodes.

It is thus essential to visit a professional to discuss your treatment options when you notice signs of a mixed bipolar state.

Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder

Rapid cycling bipolar is one of the types of bipolar disorder characterized by frequent episodes of either mania or depressive hypomania within a year.

Depending on how effectively the illness is managed, it can happen at any stage of bipolar disorder and last for many years.

In some cases, people with rapid-cycling bipolar disorder experience frequent alternating episodes of major depressive disorder and hypomania.

Far more often, though, people with this disorder experience distinct and repeated depressive episodes.

Due to this fact, treatment for rapid cycling bipolar disorder is primarily aimed at stabilizing mood by alleviating depression while preventing the occurrence of new episodes.

Conclusion

There are several types of bipolar disorder, with consequential symptoms overlapping between them.

While bipolar disorder cannot be permanently cured, treatments such as medications, lifestyle modifications, and therapy for bipolar disorder can help people successfully manage their symptoms.

Types of bipolar disorder include Bipolar I disorder, Bipolar II disorder, Cyclothymic disorder, mixed bipolar state, and rapid cycling bipolar. 

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July 14th, 2024

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