Types of bipolar disorder

This section provides an overview of the most common types of bipolar disorders.

Bipolar 1 disorder

Bipolar 1 disorder means you will have had at least 1 episode of extreme highs (mania) lasting more than 1 week. Mania can last 3-6 months if left untreated. Most people will experience depression between these times which can last 6-12 months without treatment.

Bipolar 2 disorder

With bipolar 2 disorder, you have periods of depression broken up with times of hypomania.

Cyclothymic disorder or cyclothymia

Cyclothymia means you will have experiences regular episodes of hypomania and depression for at least 2 years. The symptoms are milder than bipolar disorder, but cyclothymia can develop into bipolar disorder.

Mixed bipolar state

Experiencing mania and depression at the same time is called a mixed bipolar state. You may feel sad or hopeless but extremely energised at the same time.

Rapid cycling bipolar

if you have 4 or more depressive, manic, mixed or hypomanic episodes in 1 year it is called rapid cycling bipolar.

It is possible to change from mania to depression on a monthly, weekly or even daily basis.

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