Bipolar Disorder: Types and Risk Factors

woman expresion Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder was earlier known as manic depression. It is a mental health condition in which there are extreme mood swings that may be as high as a manic episode and as low as depression. It may also bring some changes in your sleeping patterns, energy in your body, thinking, and behavior. Bipolar disorder is a chronic condition that may hinder productivity and daily life and it is also manageable with medication, therapy, and some lifestyle changes.

People with bipolar disorder may have periods in which they may feel overly happy and overly sad as well and in between these periods, they are quite normal. The highs and lows may be considered as two poles of bipolar disorder. These people may have these episodes for hours, days, or months and they are not able to carry out their day-to-day tasks.

Types of Bipolar Disorder

There are two broad types of bipolar disorder for which a person may be diagnosed. They are:

Bipolar I Disorder

The diagnosis of bipolar 1 requires at least 1 episode of mania that usually lasts for one week and the symptoms affect the day-to-day functioning of the individual. It also requires one episode of depression or low mood that will last for two weeks. These symptoms should not relate to any other medical condition or any kind of substance abuse.

People may also experience the symptoms of psychosis or the symptoms of both mania and depression at the same time. The mixed symptoms are known as mixed features. These symptoms affect the daily functioning much more when mania and depression episodes occur one by one.

Bipolar II Disorder

The diagnosis requires:

  • At least one episode of hypomania that should last for at least 4 days or may go for a longer period of time. There should be at least 3 symptoms of hypomania that should present.
  • Hypomania symptoms should be noticed by others people as well but might not interfere with the daily functions of the individual.
  • There could be at least one episode of depression that might also last two weeks or longer.
  • At least one severe depressive episode with five or more main symptoms that significantly interfere with your day-to-day living.
  • The symptoms should not be due to any other medical condition or any kind of substance abuse.
  • Cyclothymia.

The diagnosis requires:

  • Symptoms of despair and hypomania have alternated on and off for at least two years (1 year for children and adolescents).
  • Symptoms that are persistent for at least half of the two years and never go away for more than two months at a time.
  • Symptoms that never meet the complete requirements for an episode of hypomania or depression
  • The symptoms should not be due to any other medical condition or any kind of substance abuse.
  • The symptoms interfere with the daily functions of the individual on a significant level.

Risk Factors for Bipolar Disorder

In addition to affecting all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups equally, the bipolar disease also equally affects males and women. Rapid cycling is more common in women than in men, despite the fact that bipolar disorder seems to affect both genders equally. Additionally, compared to men, women tend to have more episodes of mixed and depressed states. Men with bipolar disorder may first experience a manic phase, whereas women are more likely to first go through a depressive phase.


There is a familial tendency for bipolar disorder. Children who have a parent or sibling with the disorder are more likely to get it than children who don’t have any affected family member. The likelihood of getting the disease differs amongst identical twins. Bipolar disorder is most likely the result of a combination of genetic and environmental factors.



Bipolar disorder can occasionally be brought on by a traumatic experience or significant life upheaval. The start of a medical condition or the death of a loved one is only two examples of potential triggers. People with bipolar disorder may experience a manic or depressed episode as a result of this type of occurrence. Bipolar disorder may be triggered by drug addiction also. 60 percent of people with bipolar disorder are reportedly dependent on alcohol or drugs. Bipolar illness may also be more likely to develop in people who have seasonal depression or anxiety problems.

Brain Structure

The two types of scans that can produce images of the brain are positron emission technology (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Brain scan results that match certain criteria could indicate bipolar disorder. Further investigation is required to determine the precise impact of these results on bipolar disorder and the implications for diagnosis and therapy.

It will need more investigation to determine the precise causes of bipolar disorder. Your best option for determining your risk is to be aware of your risk factors and talk to an online counselor about the behavioral symptoms that you are having.

If bipolar disorder or other mental health issues run in your family, you should be especially alert to any potential symptoms. If you’re under a lot of stress and believe it might be related to bipolar disorder. Talk to an Online Counsellor and a psychologist of your choosing about your struggles. You may connect with the Top Psychologists in India, counsellors, psychologists, and psychiatrists at TalktoAngel with just one click, and they can help you handle your mental health difficulties and take care of your mental health on your own.