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People who suffer from bipolar disorder battle the disorder’s unexpected and frequently perplexing symptoms every day. Despite continued studies, the disorder’s causes are still unknown. Family background of bipolar disease or other mental illnesses, distinctive brain structural traits, intensely stressful situations, an abnormality in brain chemistry that influences mood control, and a background of abuse or trauma are some of the causes of bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder comes in four primary forms, each with distinctive characteristics. Intense mood swings, frequently without prior notice, from manic to severe depression, are among the predominant traits. There are corresponding alterations in sleep patterns, food habits, emotions, and behavior, along with mood swings.

If you want to learn more about bipolar disorder, types of bipolar disorder, and its varieties, read this guide till the end!

Table of Contents

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Manic-depressed disorder, formerly known as bipolar disorder, is a mental condition characterized by abrupt transitions between manic and depressive affective states. The situation of bipolar disorder is not unusual. In fact, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, 5 million or 2.8 percent of American adults have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder may make daily life very difficult. The mood swings can come on suddenly or slowly over several days. The depressive period will swoop in and crush those ambitions, even though the person may have supercharged energy, keen focus, and motivation to take on the world, during the manic phase. The result is that the person feels incredibly worn out, defeated, and depressed.

Even though there may be long periods of quiet between these bipolar tendencies, the sharp mood swings from depression and manic episodes can be highly upsetting in everyday living.

Although there is no known cure for bipolar disorder, numerous efficient treatments exist. You may learn to control mood swings using several treatment choices, which will benefit your symptoms and quality of life.

Also Read: 10 Ways How To Control Your Emotions, Don’t Overreact!

Types of bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder comes in various forms, all of which, to some extent, include episodes of mania and sadness.

Bipolar disorder is a chronic condition. If you don’t receive treatment, ultimately, maniacal and depressive episodes may return. Many people occasionally still experience symptoms after receiving bipolar illness treatment. The many forms of bipolar illness are as follows:

1.  Bipolar I

This refers to extreme manic episodes that necessitate hospitalization or manic episodes spanning seven days or longer. Additionally, the individual may go through a significant bout of depression that lasts two weeks or longer. It is unnecessary to have this kind of episode to be diagnosed with bipolar I.

Bipolar I condition must be diagnosed by:

·         At least one manic occurrence lasting at least a week.

·         Symptoms that interfere with regular activity

·         Symptoms that are unrelated to another medical illness, a mental health issue, or drug use

·         You might also exhibit mania, sadness, or psychosis (known as mixed features). These symptoms may affect your life more severely. If you do, it would be wise to seek expert assistance as soon as possible.

Although periods of hypomania or sadness are not necessary for a bipolar I diagnosis, many people with the condition do report these symptoms.

2. Bipolar II

Both manic and depression are present in this type, although the mania is milder than in bipolar I and is referred to as hypomania by medical professionals. A big depressed episode could come before or after a manic episode in someone with bipolar II.

Bipolar II patients require:

·         At least one occurrence of hypomania lasting four days or longer, with three or more hypomanic symptoms

·         changes in mood and behavior associated with hypomania that are noticeable to others but may not always have an impact on your day-to-day activities

·         at least 1 episode of severe depression lasting two weeks or more at least 1 episode of severe depression with five or more main symptoms of depression significantly affect your day-to-day life and are unrelated to any other physical, mental health, or substance use conditions

·         Psychotic symptoms can also be present in bipolar II, but only when a depressive episode is current. You might also go through periods of mixed emotions, which implies you’ll have depressive symptoms.

3. Cyclothymic disorder

This form, also called cyclothymia, combines hypomanic and depressive symptoms that last for two years or longer in adults or one year in children. The definitions of completely manic or depressed periods do not apply to these symptoms.

Obtaining a cyclothymia diagnosis involves

·         Symptoms of despair and hypomania have alternated on and off for at least two years (1 year for children and adolescents)

·         signs that never fully satisfy the requirements for a hypomanic or depressive episode

·         symptoms that last at least half of the two years and don’t ever go away for more than two months at a time

·         , symptoms that are distressing and interfere with daily life and don’t correspond to another medical, mental health, or substance use condition

Cyclothymia is characterized by mood symptoms that fluctuate. These signs and symptoms might not be as bad as bipolar I or II. Even yet, they usually last longer, so when you have none, you often have less time.

4. Rapid cycling bipolar

Rapid cycling is used to characterize experiencing four or more depressive episodes in a calendar year. A certain minimum number of days must pass between episodes for them to be classified as distinct episodes. Some persons also have polar shifts from low to high or vice versa during one week, or just a single day, which means that they may not have all of the symptoms that characterize discrete, independent episodes. There is disagreement in psychology over whether the phenomena, sometimes called “ultra-rapid” cycling, is a legitimate or well-established aspect of bipolar disorder. While some studies think it might be more frequent later in the life of the condition, a trend of rapid cycling can happen at any point throughout the disease. Rapid cycling appears to be more common in women than in men. The likelihood of severe depression and suicidal attempts rises with rapid cycling. Duration of rapid cycling may occasionally be induced or prolonged by antidepressants. That idea, though, is debatable and is still being researched.

5.  Bipolar with mixed features

When symptoms from opposite mood polarities appear simultaneously during manic, hypomanic, or depressed episodes, this is referred to as having “mixed characteristics.” It is characterized by excessive activity, insomnia, and restless thought. The individual could also feel suicidal, sad, depressed, angry, and nervous at the exact moment. 

Also Read: 7 Signs Of Anger Issues

6. Unspecified bipolar

When the characteristics do not fall into one of the other three categories but nevertheless entail episodes of great manic mood, bipolar disorder not otherwise defined is present.  

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Vivien Roggero - Elite Transformation and Executive Coach
Vivien Roggero, an Elite Transformation and Executive Coach, specializes in high-performance coaching and personal transformation, guiding professionals to peak success and fulfillment. With decades of experience, Vivien empowers high achievers, executives, and entrepreneurs through mindset shifts and strategic development.
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