Different Types of Bipolar Disorders

Friday, 3 January 2014 0 comments

Different Types of Bipolar Disorders

types of bpd

Stages of Bipolar Disorder

Different Types in Bipolar Disorder

1. Bipolar I Disorder
Bipolar I disorder (pronounced “bipolar one” and also known as manic depression). A person affected by bipolar I disorder has had at least one manic episode in his or her life. A manic episode is a period of abnormally elevated mood, accompanied by abnormal behavior that disrupts life. Most people with bipolar I disorder also suffer from episodes of depression. Often, there is a pattern of cycling between mania and depression. This is where the term “manic depression” comes from. In between episodes of mania and depression, many people with bipolar I disorder can live normal lives.

2. Bipolar II Disorder
Bipolar II disorder (pronounced “bipolar two”). Bipolar II is similar to bipolar I disorder, with moods cycling between high and low over time. However, in bipolar II disorder, the “up” moods never reach full-on mania. The less-intense elevated moods in bipolar II disorder are called hypomanic episodes, or hypomania. A person affected by bipolar II disorder has had at least one hypomanic episode in life. Most people with bipolar II disorder also suffer from episodes of depression. This is where the term “manic depression” comes from. In between episodes of hypomania and depression, many people with bipolar II disorder live normal lives.

3. Cyclothymia
Cyclothymia — or cyclothymic disorder — is a relatively mild mood disorder. In cyclothymic disorder, moods swing between short periods of mild depression and hypomania, an elevated mood. The low and high mood swings never reach the severity of major depression or mania. Cyclothymia is a “bipolar-like” illness. People with cyclothymic disorder have milder symptoms than in full-blown bipolar disorder.

4. Mixed Bipolar Disorder
In most forms of bipolar disorder, moods alternate between elevated and depressed over time. A person with mixed bipolar disorder experiences both mood “poles” —mania and depression — simultaneously or in rapid sequence.

5. Rapid-Cycling Bipolar Disorder
Characterized by four or more mood episodes that occur within a 12-month period. Some people experience multiple episodes within a single week, or even within a single day. Rapid cycling tends to develop later in the course of illness. Women are more likely than men to have rapid cycling. A rapid-cycling pattern increases risk for severe depression and suicide attempts.


Antidepressants are thought to trigger and prolong rapid cycling in bipolar disorder. However, that theory is controversial and is still being studied.
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