The Four types of Bipolar Disorder

  • Bipolar I Disorder: Includes manic episodes that last 7 days followed by depressive episodes lasting at least two weeks. Sometimes symptoms can be so severe they require hospitalization. Mixed feature episodes can also occur, where signs of mania and depression exist simultaneously.
  • Bipolar II Disorder: Depressive and hypomanic episodes that aren’t as severe as those experienced by individuals with Bipolar I.
  • Cyclothymic Disorder: Series of depressive and hypomanic symptoms lasting two years in adults and one year in children and adolescents. The signs of mania and depression are not intense enough to be considered actual hypomanic or depressive episodes.
  • Other Specified and Unspecified Bipolar and Related Disorders: Signs of mania and depression that cannot be categorized by any of the above categories.

What are the signs of mania?

The National Institute of Mental Health outlines the signs of mania experienced by those with Bipolar Disorder as including signs and symptoms such as:

  • Feeling overly elated or “high”
  • Having normal amounts of energy
  • Feeling like thoughts are faster than normal
  • Experiencing increased activity levels
  • Talking extremely fast
  • Feeling touchy, agitated, or irritable
  • Feeling jumpy or wired

During a manic episode, individuals tend to feel great and as though they can accomplish an extraordinary amount of tasks compared to their usual activity levels. They are generally highly productive and become extremely focused on the task at hand.

What is the difference between mania and hypomania?

Signs of mania are generally quite severe and people experience them at elevated rates. Those experiencing hypomania express signs of mania, but to a less severe extent. Hypomania still impacts the individual’s life in a negative way, especially when the subsequent depressive episode hits and the “crash” occurs. Hypomania can evolve into full-blown manic episodes without the proper treatment.

How do you treat Bipolar Disorder?

When an individual experiences signs of mania and depression lasting for extended periods of time, it is wise to seek the help of a medical professional for a diagnosis. Treatments include medication such as mood stabilizers or antipsychotics, often used in conjunction with psychotherapy. Using a combination of medication and therapy helps individuals better manage their bipolar disorder and minimize the signs of mania and depression.


“Bipolar Disorder” National Institute of Mental Health


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