Levels of Bipolar Disorder

2013 Bipolar Update

Levels of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a very common mood disorder that affects millions of people all over the world. Often, when diagnosed with bipolar disorder an individual may deny the fact or be ashamed of their condition. However, with the right treatment, one can be sure that they can cope with whichever level of bipolar disorder they have been diagnosed with.

In order to understand the different levels of bipolar disorder one has to have the basic overview of what a bipolar disorder is. Put simply, a bipolar disorder occurs when an individual has extreme shifts in mood. These shifts in mood can be categorized into two main groups, commonly called episodes. These are depression and mania.

When a bipolar patient is suffering from a depressive episode, they tend to dissociate themselves from those around them. Moreover, they will also complain of headaches and stomachaches as well as lack of appetite and sleep disorders. A number of depressed patients will also express suicidal thoughts and tendencies to act on these thoughts.

On the other hand, manic patients tend to have infatuated emotions i.e. periods in which the patients are unusually happy. Common symptoms of mania include periods whereby the patient may engage in risky behavior, have rapid conversations that change topics very quickly and have a high sex drive. The symptoms of mania are usually opposite to those of depressive episodes.

The levels of bipolar disorder generally revolve around how frequent a bipolar patient exhibits the different episodes. The change from depression to mania changes from one patient to the next and hence, there are different levels of bipolar disorder.

Generally, there are four main levels of bipolar disorder based on the shift in mood for bipolar patients. These include Bipolar I, Bipolar II, Cyclothymia as well as Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorders.

In terms of severity, patients with bipolar I tend to have more severe symptoms of depression and mania. Those who are diagnosed with Bipolar II have severe depression and mild mania episodes often referred to as hypomania episodes. Cyclothymia is often said to be the mildest of all the levels of Bipolar disorder. Patients with this level of bipolar disorder suffer from episodes of combined mild depression and hypomania. Lastly, rapid cycling bipolar disorder involves a patient suffering from at least four different episodes of depression and mania in a year.

Fortunately, there are a number of treatments available to treat each of the different levels of bipolar disorder. Dosage and specific type of medication will vary depending on the type of Bipolar disorder that one has. However, some of the common treatments include antidepressants to help patients deal with the depression symptoms and mood stabilizers to help patients cope better with the shifts in mood. Many patients will also need therapy.