Bipolar disorder is a complex mental health condition that is characterized by dramatic and unexpected changes in a person's mood. Contrary to popular belief, there is more than one type of bipolar disorder. According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), there are five types, each defined by the presence, type, frequency, and intensity of your moods. All types of bipolar disorder are characterized by episodes of extreme mood, with high highs known as manic episodes and low lows known as depressive episodes.
The most common types of bipolar disorder are Bipolar I and Bipolar II. Bipolar I is characterized by manic episodes that last for at least one week and can be so severe that hospitalization is required. Although depression is not necessary for a diagnosis of Bipolar I, it can also include periods of depression that last longer than two weeks. Bipolar II is characterized by manic and depressive episodes, but the mania experienced is usually less severe than in Bipolar I and is referred to as hypomania.
Other types of bipolar disorder include Cyclothymic Disorder, which involves less severe manic and depressive episodes than Bipolar I or II, and Rapid Cycling, which involves four or more episodes of mania or depression within a 12-month period. The least common type of bipolar disorder is known as Mixed Features, which involves both manic and depressive symptoms at the same time. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with bipolar disorder, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional. A mental health professional can use the DSM-5, patient interview, and various diagnostic evaluation tools to identify the specific type of bipolar disorder present.
Treatment options for bipolar disorder include medication, psychotherapy, lifestyle changes, and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). No matter what type of bipolar disorder you may have, it is important to remember that you don't have to deal with it on your own. If you are looking for help, call our office at 701-207-9841 or book an appointment online today.