The 3 types of bipolar disorder you should know about

Have you been diagnosed with bipolar disorder? Do you think you may need to speak with a licensed mental health professional about what bipolar disorder is like? It’s important to speak with someone if you have or think you may have this type of mental health disorder. Treatment can only be started after a professional diagnosis, and the sooner you start treatment, the sooner you can learn to manage your symptoms.


You can learn more about bipolar disorder and its various types before scheduling an appointment with a professional. Don’t be afraid to ask your health care provider if you think you may be dealing with one of the types of bipolar disorder.


What are the types of bipolar disorder that you should know about?


There are three types of bipolar disorder that a person can be diagnosed with. If you’re not familiar with the three types of bipolar disorder, you can get to know each better by reading the descriptions listed below:


  • Bipolar 1Bipolar 1 is the type of bipolar disorder that is usually diagnosed when a person is experiencing episodes of mania in addition to depressive episodes. For those with bipolar 1 disorder, manic episodes typically last around seven days. Some clients who have bipolar 1 disorder experience such significant symptoms that they need to seek prompt medical or mental health care. Those with type 1 bipolar disorder will also experience depressive episodes, which can last anywhere around two weeks. There are periods in between manic and depressive episodes where a person can live and function without being in the two extremes. 


  • Bipolar 2Bipolar 2 is the type of bipolar disorder that presents symptoms similar to bipolar 1, but slightly different. For someone who experiences bipolar 2, their manic symptoms never reach the same level of intensity and duration that someone with bipolar 1 might experience. These types of manic episodes are called hypomania. People who have been diagnosed with type 2 bipolar disorder will experience depressive episodes more often than the other types of bipolar disorder. Most people with this type of bipolar disorder first experience their symptoms in adolescence or as young adults. 


  • Cyclothymic disorder — Cyclothymic disorder, also known as cyclothymia, is the least common type of bipolar disorder. People with cyclothymic disorder will experience high and low moods just like somebody with type 1 or type 2 bipolar disorder, but these manic and depressive episodes are not as intense as the other types. They’re usually a milder version of manic and depressive episodes but noticeable enough that they interfere with daily functioning


If you think you may be experiencing bipolar disorder, you can explore more about this disorder by taking our quiz here.


Lightfully can help you begin the treatment you need for your bipolar disorder, no matter the type


Our mission at Lightfully is to work with individuals to change their life compassionately. We strive to provide high-quality mental health care to various types of clients through a focused approach to process-based therapy. The framework of our clinic consists of evidence-based, clearly defined, data-driven and whole-person-centered care


Lightfully offers multiple levels of care to both adults and teens: Residential Treatment, Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), and Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), also referred to as our Day Treatment Program. We also offer a Virtual Intensive Outpatient Program (vIOP) for adults. If you have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, we’d like to help you. Our therapists are experienced in dealing with a variety of conditions and unique types of bipolar disorder. Effective and compassionate treatment is always our priority.


Our licensed clinical experts see each client as a complex and layered human. Our clients are not just a diagnosis. We value our clients as they are and hope to enrich their lives through treatment. 

Change is possible. When you’re ready to take the first step, reach out to our Admissions Concierge Team. We’ll take the next steps together, toward the fullest, brightest version of you.

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