Bipolar disorder can be classified into Bipolar 1 disorder and Bipolar 2 disorder.
Sometimes it is hard to come up with the diagnosis bipolar disorder because people neglect their mood changes. The medical explanation for bipolar disorder is: transition from depression to manic period or vice verse with or without hypomanic episodes. There are differences between these two, including the symptoms and the therapy.
The first type of disorder affects both women and men equally, which means that sex is not important for this type of disorder,unlike bipolar 2 disorder, which is more common in women.
The people between 15 and 30 years of age are threatened for developing the first type of disorder. It is very untypical for patients to exhibit the symptoms, specific for this disorder, while they are very young (below the age of 12) and very old (above the age of 65).
There is one common thing between bipolar 1 disorder and bipolar 2 disorder and this is: the depression periods. Manic periods are specific for the first type of disorder and they are characterized by elevated mood, grandiosity and high goals. Sometimes, these changes go unnoticed because they are rather liked by the companions and the family members of the sick person.
They notice that he/she eats too much (hyperphagia), does not sleep enough (insomnia) and has really high self-esteem. These are all symptoms specific for manic periods. It is important to notice that manic period has to last at least one week and the symptoms has to be present each day.
If the symptoms do not last one week, then this is not a manic periods. In this case this is called hypomanic period, where the symptoms exhibit up to 4 days in a row during one week, hypomanic periods are specific for the bipolar 2 disorder.
Depressive periods are also specific for the bipolar disorder and they are the one thing that the two types of bipolardisorder have in common. Depressive periods could be the first sign of the disorder.
The depressive symptoms could exhibit rapidly or increase smoothly over the week. People feel depressed, exhausted and they sleep a lot (hypersomnia). Also, they have suicidal thoughts. Their behavior indicates deep depression and they feel unworthy.
For the doctor it is important to examine the patient’s history well to come up with the diagnosis. For patients with bipolar I disorder, it is specific that they have exhibited symptoms of manic period at least once. Also, they could have or could have not exhibited symptoms of depression. This is very important to point out the difference between the first type of bipolar disorder and the second one.
It is estimated that about 90% of the people with the first type of disorder get hospitalized at least once during their lifetime. Also, about two thirds of the people get hospitalized 2 or 3 times in their lives.
Remission is hardly achieved. Relapses happen much more often. During the relapses people exhibit altering symptoms of depression and manic periods. People with the first type of disorder tend to experience depression more frequently then mania. Depression occurs three times more often than mania.