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Types of Bipolar Disorder

The word ‘Bipolar’ has two parts: • Bi meaning ‘two’ • Polar meaning ‘completely opposite’ The word bipolar relates to how your mood might shift between two extreme states: mania and depression. Bipolar illness was previously referred to as a manic depression. That ancient phrase is still occasionally heard nowadays. However, both words might cause confusion. People may believe that it solely refers to mood fluctuations between acute mania and sadness. However, bipolar disorder is even more complicated than this. Let us first discover…

What is Bipolar Disorder?

We all have our ups and downs, but with bipolar disorder (once known as manic depression or manic-depressive disorder) these peaks and valleys are more severe. Bipolar disorder causes serious shifts in mood, energy, thinking, and behavior—from the highs of mania on one extreme to the lows of depression on the other. More than just a fleeting good or bad mood, the cycles of bipolar disorder last for days, weeks, or months. And unlike ordinary mood swings, the mood changes of bipolar disorder are so intense that they can interfere with your job or school performance, damage your relationships, and disrupt your ability to function in daily life.

Bipolar disorder often runs in families: 80 to 90 percent of persons who’ve had bipolar disorder or depression have a family member who also has bipolar illness or depression. Environmental variables such as stress, sleep disturbance, and drugs and alcohol may cause mood episodes in sensitive persons. Though the specific causes of bipolar disease inside the brain are unknown, it is hypothesized that a chemical imbalance in the brain leads to dysregulated brain activity. The average age of onset is 25 years. People with bipolar I disorder are more likely to develop anxiety problems, substance use disorders, and/or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Suicide is substantially more common in persons with bipolar I disorder than in the general population.

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Types of Bipolar Disorder:-

Each type of bipolar disorder is identified by the pattern of mania and depressive episodes. The treatment that is best for you may differ depending on the type.

Common symptoms of a manic episode include three or more of these symptoms:

  • Abnormally upbeat, jumpy, or wired
  • Increased activity, energy, or agitation
  • An exaggerated sense of well-being and self-confidence (euphoria)
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Unusual talkativeness
  • Racing thoughts
  • Distractibility
  • Impulsive decision-making

Common symptoms that occur in a major depressive episode include:-

  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Unexplained or uncontrollable crying
  • Severe fatigue
  • Loss of interest in activities that the person typically enjoys
  • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide

Bipolar I disorder
At least one manic episode lasting for at least seven days, or manic symptoms severe enough to need emergency hospitalization, defines Bipolar I. Depression episodes can occur within Bipolar I disorder and normally last at least two weeks. A person suffering from Bipolar I disorder may have manic periods with some depression tendencies or depressive episodes with some manic characteristics.

Bipolar II disorder
Bipolar II disorder involves depressive and hypomanic episodes, but not intense manic episodes that can impede function that is characteristic of bipolar I condition. Patients with bipolar II disorder have had at least one hypomanic episode and one major depressive episode in their lifetime. Individuals with bipolar II disorder frequently experience several severe depression episodes, in contrast to bipolar I, which does not need significant depressive episodes. Individuals suffering from bipolar II disorder may generally operate regularly in between hypomanic and depressive episodes.

Bipolar I vs. Bipolar II Disorder
Understanding the similarities and distinctions between bipolar I and II disorders can be difficult, but the most significant differences are the degree of manic episodes and the number of severe depressive episodes encountered. In bipolar I, severe mania lasts at least one week, whereas less severe hypomania lasts at least four days. Racing thoughts, impulsive conduct, a decreased need for sleep, and increased gregariousness are all characteristics of manic and hypomanic emotional highs, according to the study. Hypomania, on the other hand, does not generate psychotic symptoms, interferes with functioning, and necessitates hospitalization. Both bipolar I and bipolar II disorders consist of shifts in mood, energy, and concentration. Other signs of these disorders might include: experiencing anxious distress, melancholy emotions, and psychosis. Depending on the timing of these symptoms, a person may be diagnosed with mixed episodes or rapid cycling.

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Cyclothymic disorder (also called Cyclothymia)
This is a kind of bipolar disorder characterized by cyclical periods of hypomanic symptoms followed by periods of depressed symptoms that continue for days or even weeks. The cyclothymic disorder’s highs and lows are not severe enough to be classified as hypomanic or depressed episodes under bipolar standards. Cyclothymic disorder is a typical occurrence throughout puberty. Despite appearing “moody” or “difficult” to others, people with the syndrome frequently appear to operate properly. Cyclothymia sufferers are usually hesitant to seek treatment since their mood fluctuations do not appear severe; yet, Cyclothymia can increase the risk of developing bipolar disorder if left untreated.

Bipolar disorder due to another medical or substance abuse disorder (unspecified bipolar disorder)
Some bipolar disorders do not have a regular pattern and do not fall into one of the three kinds of diseases listed above, but they do fulfill the criteria for mood swings. For example, a person may have somewhat depressive or hypomanic symptoms that last less than the duration required for cyclothymia. Furthermore, a person may experience depressive episodes while exhibiting indications of mood elevation that are too mild or temporary to be classified as mania or hypomania. These episodes look to be bipolar disorder-like, although they are not classified as one of the bipolar illness types listed above.

Treatment and Management

Treatment for bipolar disorder typically improves symptoms. Because the medication is the cornerstone of bipolar disorder treatment, expert therapists can assist many patients in learning about their disease and adhering to their prescriptions, hence reducing recurrent mood episodes. “Mood stabilizers” constitute the most commonly used drugs for bipolar disorder (e.g., lithium). These drugs are thought to rectify asymmetry in brain signaling. Because bipolar illness is a chronic disease characterized by mood swings, preventative care must be maintained. Bipolar disorder therapy is personalized; someone with both conditions may need to try several medications before finding the one that works best for them.

When medication and psychotherapy have failed to produce relief, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may be used. While the client is sedated, a small electrical current is applied to the patient’s skull, causing a brief, controlled seizure. Seizures caused by ECT are thought to alter brain signaling networks. Because bipolar disorder may cause significant changes in a person’s life and create a very stressful family environment, families may seek professional assistance, such as mental health awareness and support groups. These tools can help families build coping skills, participate actively during therapy, and receive support.

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