An accurate diagnosis can be difficult when it comes to bipolar disorder, and there are a few subtypes within this disorder as well. The 3 main subtypes of this condition and the main characteristics of each subtype include:
Bipolar I Disorder- This is also referred to as a mixed episode or simply mania. Usually individuals who have this sub category of bipolar disorder will experience the lows of depression along with the highs of mania. This category can include symptoms which can become very severe at times, and the condition can be devastating and take years for proper management and recovery.
Bipolar II Disorder- This sub category may also be called hypomania and depression. These individuals do not experience manic episodes which are full blown and out of control, although they may exhibit some signs of the manic phase of the mental disorder. Severe depression is one of the most dangerous symptoms when an individual has this type of bipolar disorder and there is an accurate diagnosis.
Cyclothymia- This sub category involves mild depression and hypomania, so the symptoms of both phases are not as severe or life changing. The mood swings and emotional changes experienced by these individuals are usually cyclical in nature.
Someone who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, regardless of the sub category used in the accurate diagnosis, can experience difficulty in every area of life. School, work, home, and relationships can all be damaged as a result of the mental disorder. With the proper treatment this condition can be managed and the individual can lead a full and productive life once more.