Bipolar disorder is not a single disorder; it is a combination of mood disorders.
If an individual experiences one or more episodes of abnormally elevated moods, it is referred clinically as mania.
A person who experiences manic episode will commonly experience depressive episodes or mixed episodes called manic depression.
Manic depression is also called as bipolar affective disorder or bipolar disorder. Individual who experiences bipolar disorder will have mood swings, which can last from several weeks to months and more.
In that, if they are depressive, they have feelings of intense depression and despair. If they are manic, they have feelings of extreme happiness and despair. If they have mixed feelings, they experience depressed mood with restlessness and overactivity of manic episode.
Approximately 1 in 100 adults has manic depression at any point in their life. It is generally seen during teenage period. Men and women are equally affected and this manic depression is not seen after the age 40.
How many types of bipolar disorders (manic depression) are being seen in individuals?
People with manic depression experience mood swings from high episodes of mania to low episodes of depression, but in most cases, people with manic depression experience episodes of depression than episodes of mania.
Depending on the symptoms, Bipolar disorders are diagnosed as bipolar I and mania, bipolar II and hypomania, rapid cycling, cyclothymia, and mixed episode.
Bipolar I and mania: In this type of manic depression, individuals will often have episodes of both mania and depression. In rare cases, individuals experience only mania.
In manic episode, one can see the risky behavior in them and they often need to be hospitalized for their safety.
Commonly seen features of mania include rapid speech, insomnia, grandiose ideas, hallucinations, disconnected thoughts, paranoia, extreme irritability, feelings of omnipotence, etc.
Bipolar II and Hypomania: People with bipolar II will suffer from severe depression with mild mania (hypomania). In hypomania, the plus point is that people deny having delusional thoughts. Hypomania also leads to severely impaired functioning.
Even though bipolar II disorder is sometimes described as milder when compared to bipolar I disorder, the suicide rate in people suffering from bipolar II is higher than those who are suffering from bipolar I disorder.
It is harder to get the symptoms of bipolar II under control second time when the symptoms come back after stopping the drug treatment.
Cyclothymic disorder: People with this disorder have mood swings between hypomania and mild depression. It is not as severe as bipolar I and bipolar II, but lasts for longer periods with no break in symptoms.
In some cases, this disorder can lead to severe bipolar disorder and in some cases; this continues as low-grade chronic condition.
Rapid cycling: In general, people with bipolar disorder have 8-10 manic and depressive episodes on an average in their lifetime, but when they experience more symptoms it is called rapid cycling. They have swings between high and low many times in a single day.
Mixed episode:. If an individual experiences symptoms of both mania and depression at the same time, it is called mixed episode. The combination of excitement and agitation with depression makes this dangerous for risk of suicide.
It is to be noted that bipolar disorder can be either severe or mild and can have frequent or rare mood swings. A person who is having manic depression needs to be hospitalized for their self-care.