The medical community has designed a system to identify the varying types of bipolar disorders. It is often referred to as the bipolar spectrum.
The range and severity of the systems, determine where a person falls on the bipolar spectrum.
A person who may have experienced one or more manic episodes, can be diagnosed with bipolar I disorder. These episodes may also include major depression. A person diagnosed with bipolar I, may require hospitalization during some of the manic episodes. These signs may be noted by an Orange County psychologist, psychiatrist, or other mental health professional.
A bipolar II disorder is the presence of hypomanic episodes, instead of an actual manic episode. For a person to be diagnosed with the bipolar II disorder, they must have also experienced at least one serious depressive episode. A person diagnosed with either bipolar I and II disorders, can typically still have a normal daily life. Hypomanic episodes do not lead to the mania extremes.
A person that has numerous hypomanic episodes and depressive episodes, but cannot have any major depressive episodes, can be labeled as a cyclothymic disorder. bipolar. This type of bipolar, may appear like a personality trait, but may interfere with normal daily functioning. This is a more mild form of the bipolar disorder.
A diagnosis of bipolar NOS encompasses all the bipolar disorders that may not fit into one of the above disorders. This diagnosis can apply to a person who suffers from hypomanic and depressive episodes, but cannot technically be diagnosed with one of the aforementioned types of bipolar.
A person who fits into the NOS category, may still not be able to function in normal daily life.
A person that suffers more than four major or manic episodes in a year, is considered to have a rapid cycling bipolar disorder. This rapid cycling can occur in any type of bipolar disorder. A person may experience radical mood changes within a 48 hour period. A person that has a typical bipolar disorder may only experience one episode a year. Determining the Bipolar type will help with prescribing the correct treatment for Bipolar disorder.