Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness that is marked by periods of depression (feeling down) and mania (expressing high levels of energy and sometimes reckless behavior).
However, the condition isn’t as black and white as you might expect, and associated symptoms can vary from case to case. Understanding the illness can help both the patient and those around them manage it more effectively, so let’s take a look at 12 things to know about it…
Like we mentioned, bipolar disorder can vary, even by type. There are different classifications of the disorder, including Bipolar I, Bipolar II, cyclothymic disorder, as well as other types, says the Mayo Clinic.
Type I is marked by having at least one manic episode that may or may not be followed (or preceded) by a major depressive episode, it notes. Type II is marked by at least one depressive episode and one hypomanic episode (not as pronounced as mania), without a full-on manic episode. Cyclothymic disorder means you’ve had two or more years of hypomania, as well as periods of depressive symptoms (but not as intense as major depression), it explains.