When the media discusses bipolar disorder, they typically only mention “bipolar disorder”, not realizing that there are other forms of bipolar. Treatment for mental health needs to be individualized and specific. By understanding what type of bipolar disorder you might be living with, you can be better prepared to work with your team of specialists in creating a treatment plan for your mental health care.
Bipolar I Disorder: A manic-depressive disorder of having at least one manic episode of abnormally raised mood and high energy. According to Mental Health Ireland, one in a hundred people are bipolar. Symptoms include going from one idea to the next, rapidly loud speech, excessive spending, hypersexuality, increased energy, and substance abuse. What distinguishes Bipolar I with other types of bipolar disorders is having full blown episodes of mania which can disrupt your life such as spending a fortune or deal with the risks of hypersexuality. Treatment includes using mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, benzodiazepines, antidepressants, and electroconvulsive therapy.
Bipolar II Disorder: A mental disorder similar to Bipolar I except it never reaches full-blown which is described as hypomanic episodes. People tend to suffer more often from depressive episodes. In hypomanic episodes, you can experience elevated moods where you either feel high or irritable. You can either put people in a good mood or experience depression more longer lasting and severe than Bipolar I. Depressive episodes are similar to clinical depression where you feel loss of pleasure, low energy and activity, feeling worthless, and suicidal thoughts. Treatment includes using mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, benzodiazepines, and antidepressants.
Cyclothymia: A mental disorder with mood swings between short periods of mild depression and hypomania. You never reach the severity or the duration of major depressive or full-blown mania episodes. You also may or may not have normal mood swings in between. You can switch from mild depression to hypomania which can be irregular and unpredictable. A person with cyclothymia can either be highly successful in life or have strains in their relationships due to issues from depression or irritability. Depressive symptoms can be more frequent and unpleasant than hypomanic episodes. People get help when they feel depression or instability treated by mood stabilizers or antidepressants.
Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified: A disorder characterized by depression with short episodes of hypomania. This is when you have symptoms of bipolar disorder but are not strong enough to fit the criteria of a full diagnosis. Mood swings rapidly occur within days. If it is NOS, it shows there is a problem and can come in the future. You can have very short episodes of alternating manic or depressive symptoms as well as hypomania and depression. Symptoms can be caused by recreational drugs, a neurological disease, or alcohol use. You can have multiple episodes of hypomania but no depressive symptoms.
Smarmore Castle Private Clinic in County Louth, near Dublin was founded in 1988 as a residential rehabilitation hospital treating people suffering from drug and alcohol purposes. Smarmore Castle believes in helping patients lead a life of abstinence through 12 Step programs, detox and medical treatment, psychotherapy, and complementary therapies for mental illnesses. For more information, please call 041-214-5111. For those who live out of the country, the international number is 00353-41-214-5111.
Last updated & clinically assessed 30 March, 2022