Bipolar I Disorder
Of the three major types of bipolar disorder, Bipolar I Disorder is the type most people are familiar with. Bipolar I Disorder is characterized by manic episodes which last at least a week. These instances are often so severe that hospitalization is necessary to stabilize the patient. A person experiencing mania will have racing thoughts and seemingly limitless energy and enthusiasm. They may seem giddy or irrationally happy, tense and irritable, or a combination. They may experience feelings of grandiosity that can be considered delusional.
Anyone who knows a person with this form of bipolar disorder and has seen them in mania without medication can’t help but recognize the signs. For example, the person may go off on wild tangents or talk rapidly for hours about an elaborate and complex money-making scheme they’ve dreamed up. These periods of mania are separated by depressive episodes, which usually last two weeks or more. During the depressive periods, the person with bipolar disorder swings to the opposite end of the spectrum. Deep depression and ennui set in.
They are plagued by negative, pessimistic thinking and a profound lack of energy or will. It’s not unusual for someone in a depressive episode to refuse to leave the house for days or weeks or stay in bed for days.
But people with this type of bipolar disorder can live happy, healthy, productive lives with the proper treatment, and medication compliance is essential. In fact, when a person with this form of bipolar disorder runs into problems, it is almost always because they have not been taking their medication as prescribed.