What Is The Difference Between Bipolar 1 and Bipolar 2

Mental health is one of the most concerning topics these days that needs people’s attention. Change in mood is quite common but rapid change in mood or behavior is associated with a mood disorder or bipolar disorder. Due to the lack of awareness about bipolar disorder or its different types, most people are suffering from it unknowingly.

To know about bipolar disorder and what is the difference between bipolar 1 and bipolar 21, check out this post.

Sometimes people didn’t aware of their mental state and in the end, they suffer a lot. 280 million people across the world are suffering from depression, according to data given by World Health Organisation. And 40 million people suffer from bipolar disorder in the world.

A continuous state of feeling sad or lacking interest is a sign of depression2, which is ultimately a mental illness. Now, people started taking care of mental health along with physical health.

People’s concern towards mental illness or mental disorders increases more these days, which is a good thing. You have to be aware of brain-related disorders. This will not only help you to keep your brain safe but also keep a healthy environment around you.

Bipolar disorder
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The continuous change in the mood every day is a sign of bipolar disorder. The symptoms of bipolar disorder and depression are so much common that people get confused between them. Now, stop being confused and read this article till the end to get clarity about bipolar disorder and also what is the difference between bipolar 1 and bipolar 2.

The information on bipolar disorder is going to be incomplete without getting to know what is the difference between bipolar 1 and bipolar 2. So, let’s get started with the complete guide on ‘what is the difference between bipolar 1 and bipolar 2’?

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is quite similar to depression as people with bipolar disorder have manic depression episodes. Suffering from manic depressive disorder or bipolar disorder doesn’t mean having a sad feeling every time, sometimes high energy or excitement also happens. That’s why it is a kind of mood disorder, in which a lot of mood swings happens.

There is no fixed period of occurrence of mood swing episodes, as it is a lifelong disorder. It is a very serious brain disorder that can’t be eradicated once occurred. But through treatment, it can be controlled to turn worse.

According to National Institute on Mental Illness, 5.7 million adult population in the US is suffering from bipolar disorder. As per research, it has been found that most teens or adults have bipolar disorder. But this doesn’t mean, older people are not at risk of bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder does not only cause changes in the mood but also brings changes in a person’s thinking and behavioral ability. The occurrence of manic episodes is a very common sign of bipolar disorder, in which a person’s mood frequently changes with the manic episode.

Usually, people with bipolar disorder go through manic or depressive symptoms. But it is not like every person faces similar kinds of symptoms. Some have hypomanic symptoms3 while others have depressive symptoms. That’s why different types of bipolar disorder have been observed.

Manic or Hypomanic Episode

Manic or hypomanic episodes are marked as elevated mood or high-energy feelings. Although both are different but show similar symptoms. Therefore, it becomes difficult to differentiate both manic episodes and hypomanic episodes from each other.

A manic episode is considered to be more severe than a hypomanic episode. The less severe form of mania is called hypomania, in which a person may not identify mood or activity changes. While in the case of mania, the changes in a person’s mood are easily identifiable.

Mania and Hypomania are mostly associated with bipolar disorder, but they are also associated with other mood disorders.

Symptoms observed in mania or hypomania are such as

  1. Very happy feeling
  2. Very high self-esteem
  3. Uncontrollable high energy
  4. Increased activity
  5. Less sleeping
  6. Having a euphoric feeling
  7. Increased libido
  8. Too much social or talking
  9. Suicidal thoughts
  10. An overblown sense of well being

Depressive Episode

Depressive episodes are the opposite of manic episodes. In this case, a person feels very low and sad. Due to a long depressed feeling person become pessimistic. A person with a depressed mood faces a lot of trouble in daily life activities. Lack of interest and down feeling affect their activities as well.

The following symptoms are linked with depressive episodes of bipolar disorder.

  1. Feeling sad or hopeless
  2. Lacking interest in almost all activities
  3. Loss of appetite
  4. Losing concentration or focus
  5. Sleeping abnormalities
  6. Feeling of guilt or worthless
  7. Severe depression linked with suicidal thoughts

These symptoms are signs of developing bipolar disorder. There are mainly four types of bipolar disorder, the two are very common and more frequent. They are bipolar I and bipolar II disorder. Hence, it is very important to know about what is the difference between bipolar 1 and bipolar 2 for a clear understanding.

Bipolar disorder
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What is the difference between bipolar 1 and bipolar 2: Complete Guide

The four main types of bipolar disorder are bipolar I, bipolar II, cyclothymic disorder,4 and unspecified bipolar disorder. They differ from each other based on symptoms. But the interesting thing is to see what is the difference between bipolar 1 and bipolar 2.

One of the major differences between these two is the severity of manic episodes. In bipolar I disorder, mainly manic episode arises, while in bipolar II disorder hypomanic episode occurs.

To know more regarding what is the difference between bipolar 1 and bipolar 2 disorder, scroll down!

Bipolar Disorder 1

Bipolar I disorder mainly involves manic episodes with or without depressive episodes. The duration of manic episodes lasts up to 7 days, in severe cases, a person needs medical help.

In some people, the manic episode followed by one or more depressive episodes has also been reported. Depressive episodes last up to 14 days.

Bipolar Disorder 2

It is another type of bipolar disorder, with marked signs of hypomanic episodes. That’s why bipolar II is also known as hypomania. It is less severe than bipolar I disorder.

People with bipolar II suffer at least one hypomanic episode but the number of major depressive episodes is more. The normal life of people is not much affected in this case as happens in bipolar I, where normal activities get affected.

Symptoms: Bipolar 1 vs Bipolar 2

The difference in the symptoms of bipolar I and II are as;

Bipolar I includes symptoms like rapid mood swings, euphoric feeling, extreme excitement, rapid fluctuation from one through to the next, increased energy, lack of sleep, extra talkative, and hypersexuality also. It is completely associated with the manic phase.

While in bipolar II disorder people see a cyclic change in their mood from depressive phase to hypomanic. The depressive episodes show signs of low energy, lack of interest, and depressive mood.

In the hypomanic phase, people feel exhausted, lethargic, bored, and decreased activity. The use of antidepressants and minor tranquilizers are also very effective to control hypomania or depression. Psychotherapy 5also plays a significant role in the treatment of bipolar 2 disorder.

Causes: Bipolar 1 vs Bipolar 2

Well, the exact cause of bipolar disorder is not discovered yet. Therefore it is hard to differentiate both bipolar 1 and 2 based on the cause. But their risk or chance of development would be estimated through some research.

It has been found that the risk of bipolar is more if it exists in your family history. Its risk is higher at an early age or before age 50. Sometimes excessive stress, alcohol or drug consumption, and childhood abuse also increase the risk of the development of manic or depressive episodes.

Diagnosis: Bipolar 1 vs Bipolar 2

For the diagnosis of bipolar disorder, you need to take the help of mental health professional. With the help of professional medical advice, you can easily get to know what kind of bipolar disorder you are having.

There are various lab tests, medical examinations, psychiatric assessments, and studies of mood patterns, that help in the diagnosis of bipolar disorder in both adults and children.

Treatment: Bipolar 1 vs Bipolar 2

The treatment of bipolar I mainly focus on the control of the manic phase. Because it is the ultimate cause of it. For that mood stabilizers and sedative drugs are used. The most commonly used mood stabilizers are Lithobid and Eskalith, these are lithium metal-containing drugs. Some antipsychotic drugs (such as Loxapine, Clozapine, or Haldol) are also very effective to treat severe mania.

In the case of bipolar II, mood stabilizer drugs are used to control hypomanic as well as depressive episodes. There is not much use of antipsychotic drugs, only in a few cases of depression they are used.

Cyclothymic Disorder

Cyclothymic shows less intense mood swings than bipolar 1 and 2. Out of all four types of bipolar disorders, this one lasts up to 1 or 2 years. In children, it longs 1 year and in adults longs till 2 years.

Unspecified Bipolar Disorder

Unspecified bipolar disorder or bipolar disorder NOS is a kind of mood disorder. In this case, no extreme mood swings have been observed, as a result, its diagnosis would be difficult. And also its actual cause is still uncleared, which is also another reason for the difficulty of its diagnosis.

Final Note

All the information mentioned in this article is just to answer your question what is the difference between bipolar 1 and bipolar 2. Hope you get your answer as well as a clear understanding of on what is the difference between bipolar 1 and bipolar 2. Let us know in the comment about your thoughts on this post.

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  1. Calabrese, Joseph R., et al. “Efficacy and safety of lumateperone for major depressive episodes associated with bipolar I or bipolar II disorder: a phase 3 randomized placebo-controlled trial.” American Journal of Psychiatry 178.12 (2021): 1098-1106. ↩︎
  2. Chen, Fangping, et al. “Depression and anxiety among adolescents during COVID-19: A cross-sectional study.” Brain, behavior, and immunity 88 (2020): 36. ↩︎
  3. Sharma, Verinder, et al. “A closer look at the nosological status of the highs (hypomanic symptoms) in the postpartum period.” Archives of women’s mental health 24 (2021): 55-62. ↩︎
  4. Quazi, Anam, et al. “The prevalence of cyclothymic disorder among first-year students at a health sciences university in Central India.” F1000Research 12 (2023): 1277. ↩︎
  5. Stoll, Julia, Jonas Adrian Müller, and Manuel Trachsel. “Ethical issues in online psychotherapy: A narrative review.” Frontiers in psychiatry 10 (2020): 993. ↩︎

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