For the millions of individuals facing bipolar disorder across the globe, life is split between two different realities: elation and depression. If you experience manic and depressive episodes throughout a given period of time, you may have bipolar disorder.
What is bipolar disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that affects an estimated 2.3 million children and adults in the United States, so know that you’re not alone. Bipolar disorder is characterized by repetitive shifts in emotions, mood, and energy that take place over several days or weeks. These changes can be embarrassing and affect one’s performance in school, work, and other social settings. There are several types of bipolar disorder that are associated with episodes of mania and depression to a degree:
- Bipolar I
- Bipolar II
What is bipolar I disorder?
Bipolar I disorder involves extreme highs and lows. Individuals with bipolar I disorder have periods of severe mood episodes ranging from mania to depression. During manic episodes, a person may feel irritable or invincible, causing troubling symptoms of sleeplessness, impulsive thoughts, delusions of grandeur, and rapid speech.
What is bipolar II disorder?
Bipolar II disorder involves briefer, less intense periods of mania, called hypomania, interspersed with long periods of depression. The depressed phase of bipolar disorder is characterized by an overall low mood, feeling hopeless or discouraged, and a lack of energy.
What is cyclothymic disorder?
Cyclothymia causes emotional ups and downs. However, they’re not nearly as extensive as manic or depressive episodes exhibited in bipolar I and bipolar II disorder. People with cyclothymia can typically function in daily life without the need for medication, though it may be difficult.