The exact causes of bipolar disorder are unknown, but a combination of factors like genetics, environment, and altered brain chemistry and structure are believed to contribute to the onset of bipolar disorder. As with many other mental disorders, bipolar disorder is a multifaceted condition, and different kinds exist. With that said, the question we’re answering today is: how many types of bipolar disorder are there?
Understanding the different kinds of bipolar disorder as well as their signs and symptoms is crucial for detection, diagnosis, and treatment. There are many dangers of misdiagnosed mental disorders, which is why our mental therapy center shares guides on different mental disorders and their symptoms.
Although there are officially 3 types of bipolar disorder, one could say there are 4 types of bipolar disorder if you consider the diagnosis “other specified and unspecified bipolar and related disorders.” All types of bipolar disorder involve clear changes in mood, energy, and activity levels.
These moods range from periods of extreme sadness or depression known as depressive episodes to periods of extremely “up,” elevated, irritable, and energized behavior known as manic episodes. Less severe manic episodes are referred to as hypomanic episodes.
The three forms of bipolar disorder include:
“Other specified and unspecified bipolar and related disorders” is technically the fourth type of bipolar disorder and includes symptoms of bipolar disorder that don’t match any of the criteria above. Bipolar disorder is usually diagnosed in a person’s teens or early adulthood and sometimes in children.
Pregnant women may also be diagnosed during pregnancy or following childbirth. Although symptoms may vary, bipolar disorder treatment is usually a long-term necessity to help those diagnosed maintain a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle.
Not only are there various types of bipolar disorder, but their symptoms also occur in stages, such as:
In addition to these stages, people with bipolar disorder experience periods of unusually intense emotions, changes in sleep patterns, activity levels, and uncharacteristic behaviors. These periods are known as mood episodes.
Mood episodes are different from the typical moods and behaviors typical for a person. During a mood episode, one may experience symptoms that last every day for most of the day.
Below are the symptoms of bipolar disorder categorized by manic and depressive episodes:
Manic episode symptoms:
Depressive episode symptoms:
Sometimes people with bipolar disorder may experience both manic and depressive symptoms within one episode, which is referred to as an episode of mixed features. A person with Bipolar II Disorder may experience hypomania, which is a less severe form of mania in which they feel good and get things done.
The individual may not recognize the change in mood, but their family and friends might. Without proper inpatient mental health treatment, people with hypomania can develop severe mania or depression.
Receiving a professional’s mental health diagnosis is the first step to diagnosing bipolar disorder and creating an effective treatment plan. After ruling out any other possible conditions that may be causing the individual’s symptoms, the doctor will conduct a mental health evaluation based on specific criteria from the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).
To be diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a person must have experienced at least one episode of mania or hypomania. To be considered mania, irritable or elevated moods must last for at least one week and be present for most of the day nearly every day.
To be considered hypomania, the mood must last for at least four consecutive days and be present for most of the day nearly every day. During this period, three or more of the following symptoms must be present:
Depressive moods of bipolar disorder are characterized by a major depressive episode that causes a depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure. Bipolar disorder symptoms in DSM-5 for a major depressive episode diagnosis state that the individual must have five or more of the following symptoms in two weeks:
If you recognize any of these symptoms in yourself or a loved one, our mental treatment center encourages you to speak to a doctor or mental health professional
Without professional assistance, bipolar disorder can take over a person’s life. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with this disorder and is seeking mental health treatment, the specialists at our Banyan mental health center can help.
Before patients begin their treatment programs, they undergo an in-depth clinical assessment so our professionals can develop a treatment plan individualized to meet their needs. We offer bipolar disorder treatment that includes various forms of therapy to offer clients a safe environment where they feel welcomed to speak of their struggles and learn from others in the recovery community.
To learn how you can get started today, call Banyan Treatment Centers at 888-280-4763.