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Understanding the Different Bipolar Disorders and How They Can Impact Your Life

There are different types of bipolar disorder that differ in the severity of manic or depressive episodes. When manic, you may feel energized and elated. When depressed, you may feel sad or tired, and you may lose interest in activities you once enjoyed. 

Despite being on this emotional rollercoaster, some people live normal lives while others have a hard time working or maintaining relationships. If you’ve been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and are feeling scared, alone, or hopeless, you’re not alone. Nearly 6 million adults in the United States have bipolar disorder.

It isn’t your fault; it’s a medical condition — just as diabetes or heart disease — that affects your mental health. With the right doctor and treatment plan, you can manage your symptoms so you feel more like yourself again. 

Men and women living with bipolar disorder in the Newport Beach, California, area trust psychiatrist Hadi Estakhri, MD, at Allied Psychiatry & Mental Health because he’s Harvard-trained, double board-certified, experienced, and compassionate. He’ll partner with your therapist and other members of your team to provide medication management that fits into your overall care plan, giving you the best chance for success. 

Types of bipolar disorder

We’ve put together some information about the different types of bipolar disorder and how they can impact your life.

Bipolar I

This is the most severe form of bipolar disorder with dramatic mood swings that alternate between depression and mania, though it can be diagnosed based on mania alone. The manic state may last for a week or more or require hospitalization. During a manic episode, it may be hard to sleep, you may be irritable, extremely talkative or talk very fast, or you may feel like your thoughts are racing. 

During a depressive state of two weeks or more, you may feel so tired you can’t get out of bed, have no interest in doing anything, or even think about death or suicide. If this happens, seek emergency medical help, reach out to your friends and loved ones, or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.  

Bipolar II

Mood swings are less severe than those in bipolar I and hospitalization usually isn’t necessary.

Cyclothymic bipolar disorder

You may not have heard of this type of bipolar disorder. It’s also defined by mood swings, but they are mild and may not last as long as those in bipolar I or bipolar II. If you’ve been dealing with disruptive mood swings for two years, you may be diagnosed with this type of bipolar disorder.

Quality of life

You may find it hard to function with bipolar disorder. It can be very disruptive and make it difficult to hold a steady job, do well in school, or develop lasting relationships. You may blame yourself or wonder why this happened to you. 

Some people try to self-medicate with alcohol or drug use, go on spending sprees they can’t afford, or have unprotected sex without thinking of the consequences of their behavior. Others may disengage from family or friends, which makes them feel even more alone. This is why getting treatment for bipolar disorder is so important. By managing your symptoms, you’ll be able to function and live your life to the fullest.

If you’ve been diagnosed with any of these types of bipolar disorder and live in the Orange County area, contact Dr. E, as his patient know him. He partners with your therapist and other members of your care team to provide medication management for bipolar disorder and other mental health conditions. Use our online booking tool to make an appointment or call us at 949-258-7135.

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