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Bipolar I vs. Bipolar II: 12 Differences and Similarities

When it comes to bipolar disorders, there’s more than 1-side of the coin. The medical community has broken down the disorder into a number of types, although for the purposes of this article, we’ll take a closer look at Bipolar I and Bipolar II.

It’s important to get a correct diagnosis, so the condition can be better treated, and the family knows what to expect in terms of behaviors. Let’s examine 12 key differences and similarities between the 2-types…

1. Defining Bipolar I

WebMD explains this is the classic form of the mental disorder that was once referred to as manic depression. A person with Bipolar I has had at least 1-manic episode in their life, which is a “period of abnormally elevated mood and high energy, accompanied by abnormal behavior that disrupts life,” says the source.

Those with this form of bipolar will see deep valleys as well as high peaks, as they most often suffer from episodes of depression as well, it adds. The term “manic depression” was used because there’s a tendency for patients to alternate between the 2-modes, it says.

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