4 Types of Bipolar Disorder and the Symptoms

 In Disorders

Bipolar disorder is one of the most misunderstood mental disorders in society due to misrepresentation in media and lack of proper information. It is a complex disorder that requires a proper treatment plan to provide the best possible relief for that person.

There are many forms of bipolar disorder and they can often present similarly to other mental illnesses. This leads to a high rate of misdiagnosis which can be extremely detrimental to the treatment process. The bipolar disorder commonly co-occurs with substance use disorder as people try to medicate their symptoms on their own. Knowing the signs of bipolar is crucial to getting the proper help.

Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, previously known as manic depression, is a mental illness that involves intense mood swings with emotional highs and lows. Often misperceived as a personality disorder, bipolar disorder is a mental illness that affects mood and contains mania, hypomania, depression, or a mix of these. When a person is going through these emotional states, they are referred to as episodes. 

  • Mania in bipolar disorder is the elevated “highs” that a person experiences in their behaviors and emotions. Manic episodes are typically uncomfortable for the person experiencing them, even if they aren’t aware of their current state. They become extremely energetic which can cause them to act irrationally and affect sleep patterns. They may seem very happy or irritable with episodes lasting up to one week. When a person has become manic they may need hospitalization to help them come down.
  • Hypomania is not as intense as a full manic episode. It includes excitement, irritability, increased hyperactivity and distractibility, and reduced need for sleep. Though many people experience symptoms like these on occasion, for it to be considered hypomania, one must experience these behaviors outside of their normal routines and be unable to fix them on their own.
  • Depression is when a person feels intense sadness, hopelessness, and despair. In bipolar disorder, depression can last for weeks or months and can depend on what form of the disorder that person has. Symptoms of depression include fatigue, insomnia or sleeping too much, loss of pleasure, and suicidal thoughts or actions.
  • Mixed episodes are when a person experiences both manic and depressive symptoms. During this period, emotions and mood are not as clear-cut as just mania or depression. For example, a person may have the depressive features of suicidal thoughts and loss of interest in daily activities, but these thoughts race with the irritability of mania. When a person has entered a mixed episode it is imperative to seek help as soon as possible. These periods create a high risk of suicide or self-harm due to the person having depressive thoughts with the energy of mania. This also puts people at high risk of substance use disorder if they attempt to use alcohol or drugs to even out their intense emotions.

Different Forms Of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder Type I. People with type I bipolar disorder experience mania and depression, with more frequency in manic than depressive episodes. However, when the person does have a depressive episode, it is very intense. 

Bipolar Disorder Type II. Type II bipolar disorder means hypomanic and depressive episodes are present. People with this type don’t have the full intensity of manic symptoms and typically won’t need hospitalization. Depression is typically experienced more frequently than hypomania.

Cyclothymia. Cyclothymic disorder is when there are brief periods of hypomania and depression that do not last as long as full manic and depressive episodes. 

Rapid Cycling. Rapid cycling is when an individual has four or more manic or depressive episodes within a year. People may experience a shift in moods within a day or even within the same week. This is not necessarily a separate diagnosis and is difficult to diagnose. It acts more as a qualifier for other forms of bipolar disorder.

Drug Abuse And Bipolar Disorder

The symptoms of bipolar disorder can be so intense and uncomfortable that people try to self-medicate. Self-harm is a very common coping mechanism for people with bipolar disorder, especially when going through depressive episodes. People will also turn to drugs and alcohol to help soothe the pain associated with the symptoms and to numb the disturbing thoughts that they may experience.

If someone is dealing with a dual diagnosis of bipolar disorder and substance abuse, they must seek professional help as soon as possible. You may need to receive medication to lessen the intensity of your symptoms. Bipolar disorder is a lifelong illness, but with the proper help and support, people can live a fulfilling life. 

Getting professional help for bipolar disorder is the best chance at treating this mental illness. If you experience a co-occurring substance abuse disorder, you must treat both illnesses together to make progress in either. Finding a treatment center that treats individuals with dual diagnoses is important for receiving the best quality of care to help you reach full recovery. Our programs at Mountain Peak Recovery are created specifically for your mental health needs, including any co-occurring disorders alongside addiction. We are equipped to treat all forms of bipolar disorder and any other mood disorders such as depression. Struggling alone in silence hinders you from the chance of being able to find your light again. If you or a loved one would like to speak with our staff about how Mountain Peak Recovery can aid you in bipolar disorder and addiction treatment, call us at (801) 824-8829 to learn more information. 

Recommended Posts
Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt
Privacy Policy
colleagues looking at woman in distrust