Happy Monday everyone. I guess we could call today mental health Monday. After all, these self-help people and psychiatrists on social media refer to Monday that way anyway.
I figured why not start this off mental health Monday by encouraging you to take a look at some of my previous blog posts about mental health that I posted on this site in the past.
Today I wanted to do a post about a mood disorder I know rather well called bipolar disorder. Specifically, I am going to talk a lot about the differences between bipolar one in bipolar 2.
The very first thing you should know is what bipolar is. First, let’s go ahead and break the word up BI Polar. Bi means two and polar means extremes. People who are bipolar deal with extreme shifts in their moods going from depressive states to manic states. Both bipolar 1 and bipolar 2 have these two different states. There is one main difference that separates the two and that’s the type of mania they have. The mania from bipolar 1 is full-blown mania where as the mania with bipolar 2 is hypomania.
Let’s talk about hypomania first again this is what is found in bipolar 2. If a person is hypomanic they may have more energy, they may not need as much sleep. They can also be grandiose which means they have a false sense of superiority, a false sense of being higher and better than everybody else around them. The may even start partaking in reckless behavior whether this is drug use, unprotected sex or even spending a lot of money. Bipolar 2 hypomania is the less intense of the two types of manias however, that does not mean that it can’t be debilitating.
Now let’s talk about bipolar 1 mania which is full-blown mania. This is the more severe case mainly because of one reason. Full-blown mania with bipolar 1 can cause an individual to experience psychotic behavior. This could be delusions or hallucinations. In case you don’t know what that means delusions are basically false beliefs and hallucinations are when a person is perceiving things that are not actually there.
These hallucinations can range from audio hallucinations where they’re hearing voices that aren’t really there, a visual hallucination where they’re seeing something that’s not really there (in many cases they are described as shadow people) or lastly it could be a tactile hallucination where they are feeling things that are not really there (such as bugs crawling on or under their skin etc..) These are things that will never be seen in hypomania caused by bipolar 2.
Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? It should be easy to diagnose the two, right? Not exactly. Things are a little more complicated than that. The two are commonly misdiagnosed because they both have two extremes and some overlapping symptoms.
The main commonality between the two is the depressive episode. With a depressive episode, a person can experience psychotic symptoms regardless of bipolar type. That means a person with bipolar 2 in a depressive state can easily present themselves to a psychiatrist as being bipolar 1.
Another thing that people with bipolar sometimes experience is delirious mania. Delirious mania is something that no matter how much research is done you will never understand unless you see it. People who experience delirious mania in all likelihood suffer from bipolar 1. It doesn’t always happen but sometimes a full-blown manic episode can cause a snowball effect pushing a person into delirious mania. Delirious mania is full-blown mania mixed with delirium which is a complete disconnect from reality.
People with delirium usually have no idea of where they are, what is happening, become very violent and many of them become very focused on disrobing. Delirium is a very interesting topic and I think more research relating to it needs to be done on it because like I said you will not understand it unless you’ve seen it with your own eyes.
The only treatment that has shown to work with delirium is ECT which is electroconvulsive therapy. It’s nothing like the way the movies depict it where you’re laying on a bed and being shocked before having an intense seizure. It is safe and has incredible results. It induces a small seizure that lasts 5 to 7 seconds and the patient is asleep while it is administered.
That’s basically it as far as the two differences between the types of bipolar disorder go. If you have any questions or I did not explain it well enough please feel free to leave a comment below and I promise I will reply.