It’s not a surprise that the the types of bipolar disorder are definedby the different bipolar symptoms. These signs of bipolar disorder are what places you into a different category of bipolar disorder. The DSM-IV has these main categories, depending on the symptoms of bipolar disorder that you have (Click on the name of each category for a page dedicated to the type of bipolar disorder. A lot more description there, and a story or two.):
- Bipolar I Disorder (or Bipolar 1 Disorder) I have Bipolar I.The most severe. It has the worst mania, and can be the most life disrupting. It’s bad news. Think mental hospitals, hallucinations, being “four-pointed” to a bed while they inject you with tranquilizers. When you eventually wake up you may be totally depressed and nonfunctional for two years. Three words: Take your meds! Those are some serious bipolar symptoms.
- Bipolar II Disorder (Bipolar 2 Disorder Bipolar II is not a cake walk, and the depression can be just as bad as with Bipolar I, but you never get as crazy. No psychosis with Bipolar II Disorder- just elevated moods, less sleep, and racing about. They call that hypomania (click to learn more).
- Cyclothemia You get hypomania like Bipolar II Disorder, but the depression is never as severe as with Bipolar I Disorder, or chronic depression. Doesn’t sound too bad to me… But they say it does interfere with life functioning. The bouncing about, I guess.
- Bipolar Disorder NOS What is Bipolar Disorder NOS (Not Otherwise Specified)? It’s when the DSM-IV doesn’t have a definition. Very often bipolar disorder can be mixed up with other disorders like OCD and schizophrenia. Bipolar NOS sounds rough to me. I think my brother kind of has this.
Bipolar Symptoms: Quit acting Bipolar!
So the bipolar disorder symptoms categorize the bipolar… But how do you know you actually have it? Look below for some of the signs of bipolar disorder: On the manic bipolar side:
- Feeling “high” or optimistic
- Getting little sleep but feeling energetic
- Talking really fast
- Racing thoughts
- Poor judgement
- Increased sexual desire
- A bipolar person can also have very interesting abstract creative thoughts. In my experience.
On the side of bipolar depression the bipolar symptoms manifest as:
Feeling sad and hopeless
- Sleep problems
- Guilty feelings
- Concentration or memory difficulty
There’s also what’s called a mixed episode, where you get both depressed and energetic at once. This can be particularly dangerous, and lead to bipolar suicide.
These Bipolar Symptoms Seem Close too Home
But wait a second… Doesn’t everyone feel these things sometime? Especially if you’re a teenager. 🙂 So who doesn’t have bipolar disorder? Well, first off I left out the more intense bipolar symptoms to prove my point, like delusions of grandeur that goes with mania, and the inability to experience pleasure along with depression. (See the other pages in the site for fuller descriptions of symptoms.) But not all bipolar people get that bad- Bipolar II or cyclothemia people for instance.
The main difference between a bipolar person, and a normal person having a bad mood or a good mood is the number, frequency, and intensity of the signs of bipolar. How many, how long and how often, and how intense. Bipolar tests can be inaccurate, you really need a professional evaluation from a psychologist or psychiatrist. They can make mistakes too… Click here for my personal bipolar symptom story. If you have a similar story, about a mistake in diagnosing bipolar disorder symptoms, or maybe you thought someone had bipolar disorder but they really had another condition… you can put up a web page below. People can comment too.