Types of bipolar

This page explains what types of bipolar disorder there are. Detailing the various symptoms and patterns.

Home » Get Support » Useful Resources » Bipolar » Types of bipolar

Get support

Talk with a trained professional about your thoughts and feelings with out free counselling and private counselling service for people over the age of 18.

Counselling Private Counselling

There are three primary types of bipolar disorder, each with distinct patterns of symptoms:

Jump to a section:

Bipolar I Disorder 

Bipolar II Disorder

Cyclothymic Disorder (Cyclothymia)

Specified & Unspecified bipolar disorders

Bipolar I Disorder

This type is characterised by manic episodes lasting at least 7 days or by manic symptoms that are so severe immediate hospital care is needed. Depressive episodes occur as well, typically lasting at least 2 weeks. It’s possible for someone with Bipolar I disorder to have mixed episodes that feature both manic and depressive characteristics simultaneously.

Bipolar II Disorder

Individuals with this type experience a pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes (which are less severe than full manic episodes and do not include psychotic features), but they do not experience the full-blown manic episodes that are typical of Bipolar I Disorder.

Cyclothymic Disorder (Cyclothymia)

This is a milder form of bipolar disorder involving periods of hypomanic symptoms and periods of depressive symptoms lasting for at least 2 years (1 year in children and adolescents); however, the symptoms do not meet the diagnostic requirements for a hypomanic episode and a depressive episode.

Specified & Unspecified bipolar disorders

Besides these, there are other specified and unspecified bipolar and related disorders, which include conditions that do not match the exact criteria for the above types but still represent significant problems with mood regulation.

These categories allow for a diagnosis that acknowledges the presence of bipolar-related symptoms and their impact on an individual’s life, even if the full diagnostic criteria for one of the three primary types are not met.

Get support

Talk with a trained professional about your thoughts and feelings with out free counselling and private counselling service for people over the age of 18.

Counselling Private Counselling