Understanding Different Types of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder pic

Bipolar Disorder
Image: webmd.com

A reserve deputy with the Orange County Sheriff Department, Dr. Jorge Galindo provides counseling services through his private practice in California alongside his wife, Miriam Galindo, Psy.D. While completing his doctoral internship at the distinguished St. Joseph Hospital, Dr. Jorge Galindo received specialized training in bipolar spectrum disorders.

Bipolar disorder, known for its extreme mood swings with episodes of mania and depression, actually encompasses a spectrum of disorders, including bipolar I, bipolar II, and cyclothymia.

Distinguished mainly by its extreme periods of mania, bipolar I disorder usually includes periods of depression as well. Bipolar II, by contrast, has much lower manic periods, referred to as hypomanias, and more extended depressive episodes, often leading to misdiagnosis as major depression. Cyclothymia refers to a less severe form of the disorder, with alternating periods of hypomania and depression.

Another form of bipolar spectrum disorder known as rapid-cycling includes at least four manic and depressive episodes within a year’s time. The validity of its inclusion remains a matter of debate in psychology.


Bipolar Disorder – Definition and Types

Bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder


Since 2000, Dr. Jorge Galindo and his wife, Miriam Galindo, Psy.D., have owned and operated a private practice in Irvine, California, where they offer clinical and forensic therapy. During a doctoral internship at St. Joseph Hospital in 2007 and 2008, Dr. Jorge Galindo received training in the treatment of bipolar spectrum disorders.

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is a mental illness consisting of sporadic episodes of mania (highs) and depression (lows). The disease is typically regarded as a spectrum disorder in that people who are diagnosed with bipolar disorder display varying levels and durations of symptoms. For example, some may experience manic episodes lasting a day or two, whereas others may undergo depressive episodes lasting several months.

Bipolar disorder can be divided into three primary categories: bipolar I disorder, bipolar II disorder, and cyclothymic disorder. Bipolar I disorder is considered the most severe in the spectrum and is characterized by the individual experiencing at least one manic episode. Bipolar II disorder is similar to bipolar I disorder but generally exhibits less severe symptoms in the form of mild manic episodes called hypomania. Cyclothymic disorder is the least severe of the three, consisting of occasional depressive and hypomanic symptoms lasting short periods of time.

Various Types of Bipolar Disorder

Dr. Jorge Galindo, a reserve deputy sheriff with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, has served as a licensed marriage, family, and child therapist in Irvine, California, for nearly 15 years. Dr. Jorge Galindo previously gained experience with bipolar spectrum disorder at Olive Crest Residential Center in Santa Ana and at St. Joseph Hospital of Orange.

Bipolar disorder is a complex psychological illness defined by a variety of symptoms relating to abrupt mood swings and episodes of mania and depression. To further complicate the issue, individuals can be diagnosed with several different forms of bipolar disorder that result in a variety of behaviors. For example, those living with bipolar I disorder has experienced at least one fully manic episode during their lifetime, while those who have been diagnosed with bipolar II or a milder cyclothymic disorder experience alternating highs and lows but never suffer from a truly manic episode.

Some people with a bipolar illness are known to have rapid cycling bipolar disorder, a condition present in 10 to 20 percent of bipolar patients. In this iteration of the disorder, episodes of mania or depression occur at least four times in a single year. Those with mixed bipolar disorder, on the other hand, can experience a depressive manic episode immediately after an occurrence of mania with no down time in between. People with mixed bipolar disorder may even experience episodes of depression and mania at the same time.

Understanding the Bipolar Spectrum

Dr. Jorge Galindo and his wife Miriam run a private practice in Irvine, California, where they provide family, marriage, and adolescent therapy. During his clinical training, Dr. Jorge Galindo interned at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California, and received special training in assessing and treating bipolar spectrum disorders.

Bipolar disorder is not a singular diagnosis, but rather a spectrum of conditions separated into several categories based on the frequency and severity of symptoms. Bipolar disorder I is the type on the bipolar spectrum with the most pronounced periods of mania, a state of agitation and elevated mood. People with bipolar I can have manic episodes lasting for days or weeks, and these episodes are often separated by periods of mild to severe depression.

The manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder II, known as hypomania, are less severe than those of bipolar I. However, people diagnosed with bipolar II suffer from longer periods of depression than those with bipolar I.

The third commonly recognized form of bipolar disorder is cyclothymia. Manic and depressive episodes for those with cyclothymia are less severe than for those with bipolar I or II. All three of these classifications are general guidelines for diagnosis, and not all patients fit perfectly within a single section of the bipolar spectrum.