Bipolar disorder is a complex condition that affects your mental health. If you’re newly diagnosed with this condition, you’re probably wondering what it is, why you have it, and what you can do about it. There are four different kinds of bipolar disorder, and finding out which one is affecting you will help you get your life back on track.

At Boston MindCare, our doctors are committed to helping you figure out which category of bipolar disorder fits you bbest. They can help you navigate your new diagnosis and find the best treatment option.

Symptoms that lead to a diagnosis

If you’re suffering from any kind of mental health disorder, it’s important that you identify and understand your symptoms in order for our doctors to correctly diagnose you. Bipolar disorder consists of both manic and depressive episodes that create an unstable mood. 

Mania can be extreme changes in mood, or you can have hypomania which is typically less severe. Symptoms of mania include:

Difficulty sleeping Extreme energy Increased self-esteem Difficulty concentrating Racing thoughts

On the opposite end of the spectrum, depression can change your emotional highs to hopeless lows. If you have bipolar disorder with depression, symptoms you may experience include:

Fatigue Sadness Decreased energy Overeating or loss of appetite Suicidal thoughts

Our team at Boston MindCare take a detailed history to decipher your symptoms and give you a definitive diagnosis. With that, we can also form a customized treatment plan for you.

Types of bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is a condition that affects your brain and your mental health. It’s characterized by erratic mood changes and can affect your energy and activity levels daily. Here are the four types of bipolar disorder and how they’re characterized:

1. Bipolar 1

This type of bipolar disorder is characterized by manic episodes, with or without depression symptoms. If you have this type of bipolar, your manic episodes will last a week or longer. Your mania may be so bad that it requires you to be hospitalized to ease the symptoms. Although you don’t have to have depression to be diagnosed with bipolar 1, it may also present with depression that lasts over two weeks. 

2. Bipolar 2

Bipolar 2 disorder is characterized by having both manic and depressive episodes. The mania you experience with this type is usually less severe than the mania you’d experience in bipolar 1 — hence the name hypomania. When you have bipolar 2, you experience a major depressive episode either before or after you’ve had a manic break.

3. Cyclothymic disorder

In cyclothymic disorder, you experience both manic and depressive episodes for two years or longer. For children, the same is true except they have to experience both for at least a year to be diagnosed. The mania and depression in this disorder are usually less severe than that of bipolar 1 or bipolar 2. Cyclothymic disorder causes unstable moods, meaning you may have periods of normalcy mixed with mania and depression.

4. Other types

You may experience symptoms that don’t fit into the other three bipolar categories. If this is the case, you’re considered type 4, or “other.” This type of bipolar may be caused by factors in your life that can include drugs, alcohol, or underlying medical conditions. 

What are your treatment options?

Treatment will depend on which type of bipolar disorder you have, and what your symptoms are. Most of the time, you’ll need medication to manage your symptoms, along with therapy. Medications that may be used include:

Antidepressants Antipsychotics Mood stabilizers Anti-anxiety medications

Sometimes traditional medication therapy isn’t enough. At Boston MindCare, our doctors offer a unique treatment option when nothing else has worked. Ketamine infusion therapy can help the symptoms of depressive episodes associated with bipolar disorder. It works by inhibiting glutamate in your brain to stabilize your mood.

Like many of the other medications used to treat this disorder, ketamine comes with some side effects, so it’s important to talk to our doctors to see if this treatment is right for you.

You don’t need to deal with bipolar disorder on your own. If you’re looking for help, call our office at 701-207-9841 or book an appointment online today.

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