Bipolar 1 Disorder, or just bipolar 1 or bipolar type 1, is a subcategory of bipolar disorder or manic depression, and is one of the most severe types of bipolar disorders. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, it is “characterized by one or more manic or mixed episodes, usually accompanied by major depressive episodes.” To better understand what this type of bipolar disorder is, it is important to highlight the general definition of the disorder. Bipolar disorder, or sometimes called manic depression, is a kind of mental disorder that involves abnormally high and low mood episodes, which are characterized with sudden bursts of energy and levels of activity. The term bipolar denotes two opposite poles of emotions that are involved, the high (mania) and the low (depression). Symptoms can’t be easily spotted at first glance, but if it happens consistently over a period of time, the person is bound to have his mental state checked to diagnose if he or she has bipolar disorder.
Bipolar 1, Bipolar 2, and other Types of Bipolar Disorders
A bipolar disorder can be categorized according to the degree of mood episodes a person has. Bipolar 1 disorder, the most severe type of bipolar disorder, is mainly characterized by manic or mixed episodes that would continue for seven days. Manic episodes can be so severe that patients need immediate care in a nearby medical facility. Depressive episodes, on the other hand, can go on much longer, about two weeks. Obviously, because it is the most severe type of bipolar disorder, a significant change in normal behavior can be seen. They may be misdiagnosed with schizophrenia due to the psychotic nature of the bipolar disorder’s severity. The other type of bipolar disorder, the Bipolar 2 disorder, illustrates the exact opposite of the first mental disorder. Instead of having manic or mixed episodes, persons diagnosed with Bipolar 2 have sudden shifts from depressive moods to hypomania, the milder case of mania. Since hypomania does not show signs of dangerous behavior as opposed to mania, persons with such type of disorder seem normal with their lives and that they can carry out their daily activities well like a normal person.
Other types of bipolar disorders, aside from those two types mentioned above, are bipolar disorder not otherwise specified, and cyclothymia. The third type, which is bipolar disorder not otherwise specified, is a diagnosis in which the person has the symptoms that are in the realm of being bipolar and clearly not in the ambit of sanity, yet these symptoms can’t be placed in the criteria of a Bipolar 1 or Bipolar 2 disorder. This type would therefore depend on the longevity of a certain symptom/s to a person diagnosed as such. These won’t last long, and that the person may have too few of these symptoms. The fourth and final type of bipolar disorder, called cyclothymic disorder or in medical terms cyclothymia, is a milder form of the four types. It is like Bipolar 2 disorder, because of the occurrence of hypomania, but the shift is towards the mild form of depression. It runs for a couple of years, and surprisingly, the symptoms don’t fall under the realm of any bipolar disorder mentioned. Often, a child psychologist Orange County specialist may recognize the first signs of Bipolar Disorder.
Symptoms and Treatment of Bipolar 1 Disorder
Only the Bipolar 1 disorder type, because of its severity, has the person suffer hallucinations and delusion, a characteristic of a psychotic behavior. Persons with this disorder may act in a bizarre and weird manner, wherein they may think that they are rich and powerful, or they can have superpowers like fictional superheroes on comic books, or they could blurt out a plan or a concept that sounds very unreal. Well-known behavioral symptoms of manic episodes in this type include any the following: lack of sleep due to hyperactivity, bombardment of thoughts, getting frequently distracted, excessive exertion of energy, loud yet stuttered speech, overindulgence in food or material things, feeling self-extravagant, and sex with random persons of the opposite gender. On the other hand, the well-known behavioral symptoms of major depression in this type include the following: lack of energy, retraction from normal routines, weight gain or weight loss, feeling of desperation, irritability, excessive and involuntary crying, and thinking and attempting death by any form of suicide. Again, because this type involves mixed episodes, two or more symptoms from both mania and depression may combine.
If any person feels like his/her behavior has changed yet irregularly wrong, or if a person doesn’t see something wrong about him or her but others see, it is best to seek a doctor or a psychiatrist immediately. Often, seeing an Orange County therapist is the first step in treatment. Brain imagery and other related technologies in medicine may help in detecting such erratic brain activity. However, it is better to have mental health tests in order to diagnose not only the type of mental illness, but also categorized all diagnoses. Psychotherapy will surely help, especially if the person involved already has strained relationships with others, his working environment, or even himself, due to constant behavioral changes. Other than psychotherapy, self-help is also recommended. Also, there are several certified Bipolar treatment centers in Orange County offer inpatient treatment. Changing the current lifestyle by being healthy and keeping stress at bay may contribute to the decrease of chances of acquiring this type of mental disorder. With these actions, it is complementary also to take prescription drugs to further alleviate the symptoms of Bipolar 1 disorder, such as mood stabilizers and anti-depressants.