Bipolar 1 Vs Bipolar 2: Differences Worth Knowing

Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric disorder characterised by manic-depressive illness. It is a disorder in the brain that may lead to extreme fluctuation in mood, energy, activities and general ability to carry out daily activities. Patients with bipolar disorder have feelings that reach abnormal high or abnormal low. There are moments of extreme excitement and outburst of energy and then there are moments of depression. Sometime, the symptoms of bipolar disorder last from weeks to months while at times they normalize within a few hours. Bipolar affects the general wellbeing of the person and overall quality of life.

Bipolar 1 Vs Bipolar 2

Bipolar 1 Vs Bipolar 2: Differences Worth Knowing

Let us know about the differences between bipolar 1 and bipolar 2 based on their definition and symptoms.

Bipolar 1 Vs Bipolar 2: Differences Based on Their Definition

Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder characterized by episodes of depression and manic episodes. There are 2 types of bipolar disorder as described below:

Bipolar 1 disorder is a type of bipolar disorder characterized by a minimum of one manic or mixed episode.

Bipolar 2 disorder on the other hand, is characterized by at least one episode of hypomania along with one episode of major depression.

In general, bipolar disorder is characterised by 3 major symptoms: Mania, Hypomania, and Depression. The type of bipolar is classified based on the symptoms experienced. These symptoms are described below:

  • Mania: Maniac episodes are periods of elevated energy levels, feeling of elation or feeling of being distracted. It interferes with the individuals daily activities and it is often very difficult to calm a person in this state. Manic episodes can cause indulgence in irrational activities and irrational decisions such as sexual indiscretion, spending money inappropriately etc.
  • Hypomania: Hypomania refers to an episode of abnormal behaviour; however the condition is less severe than manic state.
  • Depression: Patients with bipolar disorder may have extended periods of being low, upset, sadness and loss of hope. They may also experience loss of interest in socialization and other social activities.

Bipolar 1 Vs Bipolar 2: Differences Based on Their Symptoms

Bipolar 1 disorder is characterised by occurrence of one manic episode and one major depressive episode. Symptoms such as elevation of energy level, restlessness, difficulty with concentration, euphoric feeling, and change in sleep pattern and other risky envious acts may accompany manic disorder. The manic episodes are usually every severe such that the individual may require hospitalization.

Bipolar 2 disorder is characterised by occurrence of major depressive episodes lasting for 2 weeks with at least 1 hypomanic episode. The episodes are not severe enough to acquire hospitalization.

Bipolar 1 is significantly different from bipolar 2. Individuals with bipolar 1 have manic episodes; whereas individuals with bipolar 2 have hypomanic episodes. There is a difference in severity in both the conditions. In bipolar 2, the hypomania episodes are characterized by elevated, expansive or irritable mood which is otherwise normal. There is a noticeable difference from the normal mood when not depressed. In mania, there is abnormal mood swing associated with increased activity or energy. Patients with bipolar 1 disorder may experience hypomanic episodes, but patients with bipolar 2 will never experience a manic episode.

Other difference between bipolar 1 and bipolar 2 disorders includes presence of one or more of the following symptoms with manic episodes but not with hypomania:

  • Psychotic symptoms such as delusions or hallucinations with manic episodes.
  • Significant impairment of daily activities in case of manic episodes.
  • Patients with manic episodes may require hospitalization due to severe symptoms.

Bipolar 1 Vs Bipolar 2: Other Differences

The diagnosis for bipolar 1 and 2 disorders are done based on the presence of manic and hypomanic symptoms. However, the causes and treatment methods are same for both bipolar 1 and 2 disorders. Symptoms in bipolar 1 disorders are more intense as compared to bipolar 2. Irrespective of the type of bipolar disorders, once a person observes the symptoms or is diagnosed with the disorder, they need to be under treatment for as long as the doctor suggests or sometimes for life long.

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 15, 2017

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