When a person has manic episodes they may experience intense feelings of euphoria, impulsivity, and excitement. It is not uncommon for people in a manic cycle to go without sleep for multiple days, talk a mile a minute, and be hyperactive. During manic episodes, people commonly experience racing thoughts, being easily distracted, an exaggerated sense of self-confidence, and feeling jumpy or wired. Also, mania may cause episodes of psychosis.
Hypomanic episodes are similar to manic episodes but tend to be less severe. Often, someone in a hypomanic cycle will be the life of the party, taking an intense interest in people, places, and ideas. Specifically, the person may feel a boost in energy, self-confidence, and creativity. Hypomania is more manageable than mania, allowing individuals to continue with their normal day-to-day lives.
Depressive episodes are the down cycle of bipolar disorder. In fact, symptoms are severe enough to cause noticeable disruptions to an individual’s daily activities, such as work, school, relationships, or social activities. Depressive episodes include five or more of the following symptoms:
- Insomnia or sleeping too much
- Slowed behavior
- Changes in appetite
- Significant weight loss or gain
- Loss of interest in activities that are usually pleasurable
- Depressed mood
- Decreased ability to think, concentrate, or make decisions
- Suicidal ideation
Bipolar I is diagnosed when an individual experiences at least one manic episode that is either preceded or followed by a depressive episode. Often the symptoms are more intense and can result in periods of psychosis.
Bipolar II is diagnosed when an individual experiences at least one depressive episode lasting two or more weeks. Generally, bipolar II disorder sufferers will exhibit short-term hypomania symptoms rather than manic symptoms after a depressive episode. It is thought that this disorder affects women more often than men.
Cyclothymia is diagnosed when an individual experiences both manic and depressive symptoms. For the most part, cyclothymia symptoms tend to be less severe than bipolar I or II. People with cyclothymia can go several months without noticeable symptoms.
Other Types of Bipolar Disorder
Other types of bipolar disorder are defined by an individual experiencing symptoms as a result of drug use, co-occurring mental health issues, certain diseases, or other environmental factors.
Depending on a variety of individual factors, your treatment plan may include:
- Medication management services
- Individual, group, and family therapy sessions
- Experiential therapies such as dance/movement and art
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
- 12-Step principles
- Motivational interviewing