Bipolar 1 Vs Bipolar 2: Know the Key Differences

Living your everyday life and not knowing what mental state you will wake up in. Is this the situation with you? One day, you may be extremely motivated and feel like you can do everything. The next day, you may feel intense depression. There are bad and good times in our lives. But with a medical condition known as bipolar disorder, those feelings can reach abnormally low or high levels. Here you can read all about Bipolar 1 vs bipolar 2.

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that people define by periods of extreme mood disturbance. This medical condition severely targets and affects an individual’s mood, behavior, and thoughts. There are 4 basic types of bipolar disorder, but in this article, we will look at bipolar 1 vs 2. We have made this thorough article about the bipolar 1 and bipolar 2 differences.

What Are The Differences Between Bipolar 1 and Bipolar 2? 

Extreme moods are the reason to characterize all types of disorders—the highs, also known as manic episodes. The lows are called depressive episodes. The primary bipolar 1 and 2 difference lies in the severity of the manic episodes that each type causes. 

An individual with bipolar 1 will go through a full manic episode. In comparison, bipolar 2 will go through a less severe manic episode. A person with bipolar one may or may not go through a significant depressive episode, whereas bipolar 2 will have a severe depressive episode.

Bipolar 1 vs Bipolar 2: Understanding The Details

bipolar 1 vs bipolar 2


Bipolar 1 and 2 differences are quite the opposite. In bipolar 1, you may go through a severe manic episode. In bipolar 2, you may have a severe depressive episode. Read the following to learn the difference between Bipolar 1 vs 2.

Bipolar 1:

For your doctor to diagnose you with this medical condition, you must have at least one manic episode. An individual with bipolar one may or may not have a depressive episode. The manic symptoms will be so severe that you may require hospital care. Doctors characterized these manic episodes by the following:

  • Restlessness
  • Exceptional energy
  • Risky behaviors
  • Poor sleep
  • Euphoria

The manic symptoms are so obvious and intrusive that it will be easy to notice that something is wrong.

Bipolar 2:

The symptoms for this condition involves a severe depressive experience episode that lasts for up to 2 weeks and at least one hypomanic episode. People with this health condition usually do not experience manic episodes that may need hospitalization.

Bipolar 2 is sometimes mistaken for depression, as depressive symptoms may be the major symptom when the patient looks for medical assistance. When there are not any manic episodes to suggest bipolar disorder, the depressive symptoms become the focus.

Bipolar 1 vs Bipolar 2: Symptoms

As mentioned before, bipolar 1 primary symptom is manic episodes, while bipolar 2 causes hypomania and depression. Let us learn them more deeply.


It is a feeling of more than joy, high energy, or being distracted. During a manic episode, the severity of the mania is so high that it can interfere with the patient’s daily life. It is difficult to redirect someone in a manic episode towards a calmer and reasonable state.

People going through a manic episode are more inclined towards making risky and irrational decisions. For example, someone going through a manic episode will spend a significant amount of money that they cannot spend. They may do high-risk behaviors, such as sexual indiscretions, even though they are in a relationship. You cannot define these behaviors as manic episodes if they cause outside influence like drugs, alcohol, or another medical condition.

The manic symptoms for bipolar 1 are in the following:

Feeling Euphoric

Individuals going through mania will be extremely happy and feel great about themselves to the extent that is not normal.

Exaggerated Self-Worth

They tend to have the mindset that they can do anything that everyone can do but better. They claim that they can achieve the impossible and claim they have supernatural powers such as invincibility or immortality.

Heightened Creativity

They tend to become highly creative and begin to do countless activities, from starting a band to writing novels. And while they are at their high, the follow-through is low and rarely completes what they started.

Sleep Problems

Someone in a manic state can go without sleep or sleep for only a few hours a night for days or weeks. And yet, they will have a significant amount of energy and say that they feel great and never have exhaustion.


A hypomania episode is a mania period less severe than a full-blown mania episode. Although it is less severe than the full manic episode, the behavioral state of the person will still be different from the normal state. The differences will be evident enough that people will notice that something is unusual.

It is not considered hypomania if these symptoms result from outside influence such as alcohol or drugs.


Depressive symptoms in an individual with bipolar disorder are like those of someone with actual depression. They may have extended time of being sad and hopeless. They may also experience a loss of interest with those people with whom they used to have fun.

bipolar 1 vs bipolar 2


Bipolar 1 vs Bipolar 2: Causes

The exact bipolar 1 cause is not clear. Doctors believe that genetics plays an essential role. According to a study done on twins in which one or both had bipolar 1, this doctors’ claim is true. 40% of identical twins were bipolar compared to less than 10% of fraternal twins. 

Bipolar 1 vs 2: Diagnosis

Individuals will have to visit psychiatrists or psychologists for receiving a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. They will have to review the person’s medical symptoms and history. The assessment will focus on a person’s thoughts, behaviours, and feelings. 

Some may find it helpful to have a patient’s loved one present to provide the doctor with the appropriate information about other symptoms, especially during manic periods. The physician may also ask a person to keep a food diary to track their sleep patterns, moods, and other symptoms. It is the most effective method that will help get the proper diagnosis.

A thorough diagnosis would likely include specific tests to exclude other physical causes. It may involve drug screen, imaging tests, and a full diagnosis blood tests. The doctor will also ask questions. The patient should work hand in hand with the doctor to prescribe the most appropriate treatment.

What is the Treatment for Bipolar 1 vs 2?

Treatment options between bipolar 1 vs 2 consists of medicines, lifestyle changes, and psychotherapy. Bipolar disorder is a long-term medical condition, so the treatment will also be long-lasting. Some patients have a treatment team of therapists, nurse practitioners, psychologists, etc.


Mood stabilizers such as lithium for bipolar disorders are the most common medications that doctors prescribe. They may also prescribe antipsychotic medications for manic episodes and antidepressants for depression.

Antidepressants tend to trigger manic episodes in some people; doctors may also recommend using antidepressant and antipsychotic medications to reduce depression while stabilizing mood.

For people with anxiety or sleep conditions, anti-anxiety medicines such as benzodiazepines may help. However, these medications come with the risk of being dependence. The patient should use this medicine strictly under the guidance of their doctor.

Most patients can begin to consume medications immediately, even if they are not currently going through a manic or depressive episode. It is vital to continue the medicines even during a stable mood to avoid relapse.

Your doctor may initiate you on the lowest dosage of whichever medications you were prescribed. The reason for this is to see how you respond to the medication. You may need a higher dose than what they usually prescribe for the first time. To control both symptoms, as mentioned earlier, your doctor will prescribe a combination of medications.

bipolar 1 vs bipolar 2



It is an essential treatment plan for bipolar 1 and 2 disorders. Therapy may occur on a one-to-one basis, as part of the group or in a family setting. Several different types of therapy can help, such as:

  • CBT or cognitive behavioural therapy is to challenge negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones.
  • Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy is a therapy that focuses on establishing a structured routine to help patients to cope with the symptoms. 
  • Family-focused therapy will help them to enhance communication with the family members and to get family support.

Also Read: 5 Signs of Depression in Memory Care Patients

Lifestyle Changes

Many people can implement lifestyle changes for managing their symptoms and help to stabilize their mood. Below are some of the helpful lifestyle changes that could help:

  • Avoiding drugs and alcohol
  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Attending support groups with mood-related disorders
  • Practicing meditation and mindfulness
  • Learn more about their condition
  • Establish a good sleep routine
  • Frequent exercise

Most people also benefit from a mood diary. A journal can help to see patterns in their thoughts, moods, and behaviours. 


Bipolar 1 vs 2, both conditions are long-term medical conditions that you can combat by managing your symptoms. You can do it by changing your lifestyle, spending time with family, and undergoing rejuvenating therapies. Regular contact with mental health experts and asking friends for help can make it easy for you to cope with the symptoms.

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