The Different Forms of Bipolar Disorder Explained

Bipolar disorder is one of the most serious mental health conditions, but its often misunderstood or confused for other disorders. Many people are surprised to learn that there is more than one type of bipolar disorder. There are four types of bipolar disorder, and this is what they are.

Bipolar 1 Disorder

Bipolar 1 disorder also goes by the name manic-depressive disorder. People with bipolar 1 cycle between episodes of mania, or an abnormally elevated mood and energy, and depression. People with bipolar 1 may go long periods without symptoms between episodes of mania and depression. The main difference between bipolar 1 and other forms of bipolar is that people with this disorder experience full episodes of mania.

Bipolar 2 Disorder

Bipolar 2 disorder is very similar to bipolar 1. People with bipolar 2 cycle between periods of high and low, however, the main difference is that during their “ups” they never reach full-blown mania. These less-intense elevated moods are known as hypomania. While the highs aren’t as severe with bipolar 2, the depressive episodes are often longer and more intense than with bipolar 1.

Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder

People with Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder experience at least four or more episodes of mania or depression in a year. Those suffering from rapid-cycle bipolar may cycle between manic and depressive episodes, but more often they feel repeated episodes of depression punctuated by short periods of elevated or normal mood.

Mixed Bipolar Disorder

Mixed bipolar disorder, or mixed episodes, is characterized by experiencing highs and lows. These highs and lows occur at the same time as part of a single episode. Rather than cycling between periods of mania and depression, people with mixed bipolar experience symptoms of either simultaneously or in rapid sequence.

Getting Help with a Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis

Different Types of Bipolar Disorder | Delray Center for Healing

If you or someone you love is struggling with any form of bipolar disorder contact us now. We can offer a range of effective bipolar disorder treatments to help!