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What to Know About the Types of Bipolar Disorder

The term bipolar disorder is sometimes thrown around loosely to describe someone experiencing drastic emotional shifts, but it is actually a complex and often misunderstood mental health condition. People with bipolar disorder do fluctuate between emotional highs and lows, but there is much more to the condition than many realize.

There are also several types of bipolar disorder. Understanding the differences between the different types and the available treatments is crucial for anyone affected by bipolar disorder so they can get the help they need to achieve greater emotional balance.

If you believe you may need a bipolar disorder treatment program, it is imperative that you get an accurate diagnosis. Schedule an intake assessment by calling 5 Palms at 1.844.675.1022. We can determine whether you have bipolar disorder or a different mental health condition and create a customized treatment plan.

Types of Bipolar Disorder

One of the many misconceptions about bipolar disorder is that it refers to a single mental health condition. In fact, there are several types of bipolar disorder, including:

  • Bipolar I disorder
  • Bipolar II disorder
  • Cyclothymic disorder
  • Bipolar with mixed features
  • Bipolar with seasonal features
  • Bipolar with rapid cycling
  • Unspecified bipolar

Each of these types differs based on whether the person experiences mania or hypomania, whether they have depressive episodes, and the frequency or severity of episodes.

Bipolar I vs. Bipolar II

To differentiate between bipolar I and bipolar II, it is essential to understand the characteristics of manic and depressive episodes.

Manic Episodes

Manic episodes involve:

  • Feeling energetic or elated
  • Experiencing enhanced productivity or activity
  • Feeling more impulsive
  • Experiencing racing thoughts
  • Speaking more quickly
  • Decreased sleep

To qualify as a manic episode, a person would need to experience at least three of the above symptoms for a week or more.

Hypomanic episodes involve the same symptoms as manic episodes, but they are less severe. Also, symptoms would only need to take place for four consecutive days to be deemed a hypomanic episode.

Depressive Episodes

Depressive episodes involve:

  • Feeling intense sadness
  • Low energy
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Disrupted sleep patterns
  • Loss of appetite or increased appetite 
  • Speaking more slowly
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Inability to concentrate

To count as a depressive episode, a person would need to experience at least four of the above symptoms for a minimum of two weeks.

Distinguishing Bipolar I from Bipolar II

Since there are a handful of types of bipolar disorder, it can be a bit confusing to know whether you have this mental health condition and which type it is. 

Bipolar I disorder is characterized by having at least one manic episode. Although people with bipolar I may also have depressive episodes, this is not true in all cases.

What sets bipolar I disorder apart is that the person would encounter at least one depressive episode. They may also have manic episodes, but they are typically hypomania, a less severe form of mania.

Treatment for Bipolar Disorder

Although you may be uncertain which type of bipolar disorder you have, treatment for each type is somewhat similar. Bipolar disorder treatment is aimed at mood stabilization to prevent or minimize the severity of manic and depressive episodes.

For most people with bipolar disorder, medication is a cornerstone of their treatment plan. Mood stabilizers like lithium, antipsychotics, and anticonvulsants may be prescribed to ease emotional ups and downs.

Behavioral therapy can also be beneficial for those with bipolar disorder to help them understand and manage their symptoms. It can also teach how to cope with the emotional and interpersonal challenges associated with bipolar disorder.

Enroll in Bipolar Disorder Treatment by Calling 5 Palms

If you or a loved one is struggling with bipolar disorder, don’t wait to seek help. Early intervention and comprehensive treatment can significantly improve the quality of life for individuals with this condition.

At 5 Palms, we are committed to providing compassionate, professional care tailored to your unique needs. By enrolling in our bipolar disorder treatment program, you can access a variety of therapies and medications designed to stabilize your mood and help you manage symptoms effectively.

Our experienced team is dedicated to supporting you on your journey to mental wellness. Contact us online or call us today at 1.844.675.1022 to take the first step toward a more balanced life.

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