What are 4 different types of Bipolar Disorder?

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar Disorder is a type of Mental Illness that causes extreme shifts in a person’s mood and energy. The number of times a person experiences a shift in one’s mood and energy depends on the type of Bipolar Disorder the person is suffering from. 

The person suffering from Bipolar Disorder may experience extremely elevated manic highs or episodes of very depressive lows. The episodes of manic highs and depressive lows can last long from the time period of a few days to a few weeks or a period of few months to a  year as well depending on the severity of the condition in which the patient is. 

According to American Psychiatric Association, there are four types of Bipolar Disorder and they are as follows: Bipolar I Disorder, Bipolar II Disorder, Cyclothymic Disorder, and Bipolar Disorder due to another medical or substance abuse disorder. 

And each type of Bipolar Disorder is identified by different patterns in the occurrence of manic highs and depressive lows episodes. And treatment for each Bipolar Disorder is available depending on the type of Bipolar Disorder the person is suffering with. Thus, let’s have a closer look at all the four types of Bipolar Disorder, what is it and what are it’s symptoms.

types of bipolar disorder ichhori.com

1.Bipolar I Disorder: Bipolar I Disorder is diagnosed with manic high episodes which usually last up to seven days and are accompanied by psychotic features or manic symptoms. In some cases, Mania may trigger a break from reality as well, which is also called as Psychosis. Even though Bipolar I Disorder is diagnosed with manic high episodes, but sometimes a person may also suffer from depressive low episodes alongside the manic highs. And some of the most common features to understand that whether one person is suffering from Bipolar I Disorder or not there are a few symptoms that we can have a look at. Like,

  • Abnormally Jumpy or weird.
  • Increased activity and surge in high energy.
  • Exaggerated self–confidence or Euphoria.
  • Insomnia (lack of sleep/ sleeplessness).
  • Restlessness and racing thoughts.
  • Being talkative.
  • Loss of Decision-making power and,
  • Loss of concentration.

2.Bipolar II Disorder:
While Bipolar I Disorder is diagnosed with manic high episodes, Bipolar II Disorder is diagnosed with recurring episodes of depression and hypomania (abnormally revved up state of mind that affect one’s mood, thoughts, and behavior), which is also a milder form of mania. If the person is diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder then the person must have suffered from at least more than one episode of depressive low or hypomania. And some the symptoms to understand whether a person is suffering from Bipolar II Disorder or not, they are as follows:
  • Insomnia (lack of sleep/ sleeplessness) or Hypersomnia (excessive sleep).
  • Uncontrollable crying without any explainable reason for crying.
  • Severe fatigue and extreme loss of energy.
  • Loss of concentration and interest in things that the person likes doing usually.
  • Recurring suicidal thoughts or about deaths in general.
  • Significant weight loss or gain, increase or decrease in appetite.
  • Feeling of worthlessness and guilt.
  • Always in a depressed, sad mood, feeling guilty, hopelessness and so on.

Both Bipolar I Disorder and Bipolar II Disorder have similar symptoms but sometimes may also include other features or symptoms like anxious distress, melancholy, psychosis, and others. Although this may differ from person to person and may not be the same for everyone. Also, the timing of the occurrence of each episode may include diagnostic labels like mixed or rapid cycling, thus stating the number of times a person suffers an episode. 

3.Cyclothymic Disorder

Cyclothymic Disorder consists of cyclical mood swings and is a milder form of Bipolar Disorder. Even though a person diagnosed with Cyclothymia suffers from mood swings, the manic highs and depressive lows are not as severe as in the case of patients with Bipolar I Disorder and bipolar II Disorder. Although if not treated on time, Cyclothymic patients have an increased chance of developing Bipolar Disorder. 

Cyclothymia occurs in two age groups: Children and Teenagers. And a person with cyclothymia does not experience severe mood swings thus may come out as an extremely normal person with some mood swings. And because this seems to be so normal people often fail to recognize if they have Cyclothymia and thus don’t get it treated developing a higher chance of Bipolar Disorder. 

And the symptoms of Cyclothymia are very common like stress due to work, studies, mood swings because of periods, lack of sleep, and so on. Thus it becomes extremely difficult to tell whether it is just normal stress and mood swings or because of a mental illness.

4.Bipolar Disorder due to another medical or substance abuse disorder: Other than Bipolar I Disorder, Bipolar II Disorder, and Cyclothymia, there are some other types of Bipolar Disorders that don’t quite match the criteria of the 3 mentioned above but the person affected with it does experience abnormal mood swings.             

Like for example, a person with Bipolar Disorder due to another medical or substance abuse disorder, then he/she might experience mile hypomanic episodes like manic highs or depressive lows. 

The symptoms of Bipolar Disorder due to another medical or substance abuse disorder are very minimal and consist of abnormal mood swings, which include either manic highs or depressive lows, and either there will be a surge in your energy level or the opposite with very low energy level. 

Thus, it becomes highly difficult for one person to recognize this kind of disorder and get proper treatment on time. 

Now, that we know about all four types of Bipolar Disorders in detail is also very important to know when to seek a doctor’s help for treating Bipolar Disorders. Because like everyone knows whether be it India or Abroad people with mental illness are often considered and treated as ‘MAD’ and thus most of the times end up not getting treatment in the fear of being judged. 

But one should not do so, they should be courageous enough to go and take a doctor’s help whenever ever needed because most of the time these mental illnesses are curable if treated properly. And for Bipolar Disorder people should visit the doctor when there is a constant shift in their moods, they easily become anxious and are often experiencing manic highs and depressive lows thus affecting their normal work and personal life. And in such situations, a person should go to the doctor to get proper treatment and Bipolar Disorder can be cured with medications and psychiatric sessions. 

And it is extremely important to take a doctor’s help whenever one feels like it because the symptoms of Bipolar Disorder are extremely common like mood swings, fatigue, restlessness, feeling distracted leading to loss of concentration, insomnia, and loss of appetite. And because most of the time these symptoms come off as an indication for some other disease as well, it becomes extremely difficult to understand whether one person is suffering from Bipolar Disease or not. And if not treated on time, it can destroy one’s life. 

Thus, let’s make sure to raise awareness against the importance of mental health and it is okay to get treated for a mental illness. 




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