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I’ve heard of bipolar disorder, but what exactly is it? And how does it affect people? Join me as I break down the details of bipolar disorder while encouraging those who are considering seeking help to do so. You’ll learn about which type of bipolar disorder I was diagnosed with along with some options for success when choosing a psychiatrist for the first time.
What is Bipolar Disorder?
As described by the National Institute of Mental Health, “bipolar disorder is a mental disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, concentration, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.” Think about the word “polar” in “bipolar” and consider it like the phrase “polar opposites” – meaning different in every way possible. The two “polars” of bipolar disorder are manic episodes and depressive episodes – manic being “up” (elated, irritable, highly energized) and depressive being “down” (sad, indifferent, hopeless). There are three main types of bipolar disorder and it’s important to remember that each person can experience the same type of bipolar disorder very differently than someone else with who has that same type.
What are the different types?
- Bipolar I Disorder — “having manic episodes that last at least 7 days, or by manic symptoms that are so severe that the person needs immediate hospital care. Usually, depressive episodes occur as well, typically lasting at least 2 weeks. Episodes of depression with mixed features (having depressive symptoms and manic symptoms at the same time) are also possible.“
- Bipolar II Disorder — “a pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes, but not the full-blown manic episodes that are typical of Bipolar I.”
- Cyclothymic Disorder (also called Cyclothymia)— “experiencing periods of hypomanic symptoms as well as periods of depressive symptoms lasting for at least 2 years (1 year in children and adolescents). However, the symptoms do not meet the diagnostic requirements for a hypomanic episode and a depressive episode.” Honestly, I know little to nothing about this last type. Please check out the resources (click on the name of this type) to read and learn more.
Which type is Bailey?
Hi! It’s me – I’m Bailey. 😆 And I have Bipolar 2 Disorder, which tends to be less severe out of types 1 & 2. I’ve never been hospitalized, but I definitely can tell the difference between the episodes that come along with this disorder.
What’s it like to live with Bipolar II Disorder?
Tune into the episode to hear me tell you alllllllllll about it!
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Until next time friends… Take it easy, stay grateful and be joyful!
Check out the show notes from additional episodes in Season 1 below!