Having this type of bipolar disorder means you have experienced at least one manic episode. The mania needed to have lasted for at least a week, or to be severe enough that hospitalisation was necessary. For about 50-60% of people with this type of the disorder, they will also experience depressive episodes. Frequently these occur immediately before or after a manic phase.
Having this type of bipolar disorder means you have experienced at least one hypomanic episode and at least one depressive episode in your lifetime. The period of hypomania needs to be for at least 4 days.
Having a mixed episode means you have experienced both symptoms of mania and depression at the same time, with symptoms lasting for at least a week. Feelings of sadness, irritability, agitation, and euphoria can all occur together at the same time.
Bipolar Disorder with Rapid Cycling
This type of bipolar disorder means that you have a diagnosis of either bipolar I or II and that you experience 4 or more episodes of illness in a year. These episodes can occur in any order. Someone might experience an equal number of manic and depressive episodes over a year, for another person they might have 3 episodes of mania and only 1 of depression over this time.
Samantha is the author of "My Bipolar Mind: You're not alone," she is also a freelance writer, blogger, and mental health advocate who runs and manages her own mental health blog MyBipolarMind.com.