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What Are the Different Types of Bipolar Disorder?

What Are the Different Types of Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder characterized by emotions that have extreme highs and lows. If you have bipolar disorder, you’re not alone: 4.4% of people in the United States have some form of this mental health condition.

Even though the overarching definition of bipolar disorder involves emotional highs and lows, there are different types of bipolar disorder depending on your mood patterns. Knowing your type can help you and your provider to cater a treatment plan that’s best for you.

At our practice in Newport Beach, California, Venice Sanchez, MD, and our team specialize in treating and managing bipolar disorder. That’s why we want you to know about the different subtypes in order to help properly diagnose and manage your symptoms.

Explaining bipolar disorder

When you have bipolar disorder, you often experience periods of euphoria or mania. However, after the manic episode subsides, a period of severe depression and hopelessness often follows. 

During a manic episode, you can feel elated and energized alongside any of the following symptoms:

You may also notice that you have difficulty sleeping or staying on one subject during a conversation.

Depressive episodes can leave you feeling very fatigued while also experiencing symptoms that include:

These periods of depression can lead to a lack of focus and concentration in addition to losing interest in activities you usually enjoy.

Different types of bipolar disorder

Research is still being done on how exactly bipolar disorder should be diagnosed and categorized, but most experts agree that this mental health condition can be put into four main types: bipolar I disorder, bipolar II disorder, cyclothymic disorder, and unspecified bipolar disorder. 

Bipolar I disorder

Bipolar I disorder involves manic episodes that last for longer than a week and are severe. Periods of mania in this type can lead to hospitalization or a break from reality. Although some may experience depressive episodes that can last at least two weeks before or after the mania, that’s not true of everyone who falls into this category.

Bipolar II disorder

This type is characterized by periods of mania and depression, but both are less extreme. You can still experience a depressive episode before or after a manic one, but you generally experience hypomania which is a much less severe version of mania.

Cyclothymic disorder

Sometimes just referred to as cyclothymia, this type of bipolar disorder features brief periods of hypomania and depression. Those with cyclothymia can experience several seasons of each within a period of a year.

Unspecified bipolar disorder

You can fall into the unspecified bipolar disorder category if you have symptoms that don’t fall neatly into the other subtypes. Symptoms can also stem from other health conditions or from certain drug and alcohol use.

Bipolar I and II disorder are the most common, but no matter what category you fall into, it’s still important to seek treatment for your bipolar disorder symptoms.

Our team has years of experience when it comes to helping those with bipolar disorder. We have many treatment options available in order to help you manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.

To set up an appointment with us to learn more about bipolar disorder, simply call our office at 949-269-6142 or use our online scheduler today.

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