Whats the Difference Between Bipolar 1 and Bipolar 2?

Question by C-roy: whats the difference between Bipolar 1 and Bipolar 2?
whats the difference between Bipolar 1 and Bipolar 2?

Best answer:

Answer by Kate
Bipolar 1 is characterized by both major depressive and manic phases. Depression includes feelings of sadness, hopelessness, worthlessness, guilt, poor self-esteem, and sometimes self harm and suicidal thoughts. Mania is a feeling of incredible euphoria, like a natural high to the extreme. People who are manic have racing thoughts they can’t control, tons of energy, a decreased need for sleep, often are agitated and sometimes violent, act very impulsively without thinking about the consequences, and engage in risky behavior. They have grandiose, delusional thoughts (thinking they are God, or Napoleon, or that they are actually famous or royalty and nobody else knows) and sometimes paranoia. If mania goes untreated, it can progress into psychosis, which can be extremely dangerous to the individual.

Bipolar 2 has the major depressive episodes of Bipolar 1, but without the mania. Instead, people with Bipolar 2 experience “hypomania”, literally meaning “below mania”. The symptoms of hypomania are listed in the DSM-IV as being the same as the symptoms of mania, but to a lesser degree. People who are hypomanic often feel energized, euphoric, very creative, become extremely productive, may engage in some risky behavior but not to the same extreme as a manic person would, things like that. If we think of mania and hypomania as volumes, hypomania would be loud but still comfortable enough to listen to. Mania, on the other hand, would be loud enough to make your eardrums bleed.

People with Bipolar 2 are more likely to be misdiagnosed as having unipolar depression (major depression) because they are less likely to report their hypomanic symptoms to a health professional. They don’t think of their hypomania as a problem, because it doesn’t interfere with their quality of life (aside from making them more productive, which is generally viewed as a good thing). Hypomania, while less severe than mania, can still cause problems for the person experiencing it, and Bipolar 2 shouldn’t be considered a “mild” form of Bipolar 1. People with Bipolar 2 are just as likely to attempt suicide as people with Bipolar 1, so they are obviously both very serious.

Answer by Liz
Bipolar Type I is what most people think of when they’re asked what Bipolar Disorder is. It’s the classic extreme highs and lows featuring clinical depression and fully developed mania. Bipolar Type II features clinical depression but without the very high highs. Manias in Type II are usually shorter and not as extreme. There are also other variants of bipolar disorders which are usually milder, as well as that classic of the DSM “Not Otherwise Specified.”

In my reading I’ve found mixed episodes are sometimes classified as both, though mixed episodes with psychosis are Type I

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