Bipolar Jacket

Bipolar 1


Bipolar type 1 is a mental health condition that affects a person’s mood. People with bipolar type 1 can have extreme mood swings, going from feeling very happy and energetic (called “mania”) to feeling very sad and hopeless (called “depression”).

During a manic episode, a person with bipolar type 1 might feel like they have a lot of energy, talk very fast, and do things without thinking about the consequences. They might also have trouble sleeping and feel very confident or even invincible. This is much more severe than the hypomanic periods experienced by those with bipolar 2.

During a depressive episode, a person with bipolar type 1 might feel sad, hopeless, and lose interest in things they used to enjoy. They might also have trouble sleeping, lose or gain weight, and have trouble concentrating.

Manic Episodes

According to the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition), a manic episode is a period of abnormally elevated or irritable mood, lasting at least one week and characterized by a combination of symptoms.

During a manic episode, a person may experience three or more of the following symptoms (four if the mood is only irritable):

  • Inflated self-esteem or grandiosity
  • Reduced need for sleep
  • Increased talkativeness or pressure to keep talking
  • Racing thoughts or flight of ideas
  • Distractibility
  • Increase in goal-directed activity or psychomotor agitation
  • Engaging in activities that have a high potential for painful consequences (e.g. reckless spending, risky sexual behavior, or substance abuse)

The symptoms of a manic episode must be severe enough to cause significant impairment in a person’s social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning, or require hospitalization to prevent harm to themselves or others.

Mania with Psychosis

Many with bipolar I will experience psychosis as part of their mania. Mania with psychosis is a mental state where a person experiences a high level of energy, excitement, and happiness, along with losing touch with reality. Psychosis is a condition where a person may have delusions, which are false beliefs, or hallucinations, which are seeing or hearing things that are not really there.

During mania with psychosis, a person might feel very confident or powerful, like they have superpowers or are famous. They might also hear voices that tell them to do things or see things that aren’t really there. They might have trouble telling what is real and what is not.

This condition can be very serious, and it’s important for someone experiencing mania with psychosis to seek medical attention.

Depressive Episodes

In Bipolar 1 Disorder, a depressive episode is a period of time during which a person experiences symptoms of major depression. These episodes may last for at least two weeks and are characterized by a persistent low mood and loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyable.

Symptoms of a depressive episode in Bipolar 1 Disorder may include:

  1. Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or emptiness.
  2. Loss of interest or pleasure in activities.
  3. Significant changes in appetite or weight.
  4. Sleep disturbances, such as insomnia or excessive sleeping.
  5. Fatigue or loss of energy.
  6. Difficulty concentrating or making decisions.
  7. Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt.
  8. Thoughts of death or suicide.

It’s important to note that people with Bipolar 1 Disorder may also experience manic or mixed episodes, which are characterized by elevated or irritable moods, increased energy, racing thoughts, and impulsive behavior.

During a depressive episode, a person with Bipolar 1 Disorder may have difficulty functioning in daily activities, such as work or school, and may need to seek help from a mental health professional.

Diagnosing Bipolar I

Bipolar 1 Disorder is diagnosed by a qualified mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, based on a comprehensive evaluation of a person’s symptoms, medical history, and family history. The diagnostic criteria for Bipolar 1 Disorder, as outlined in the DSM-5, include the following:

  1. The person has experienced at least one manic episode, which is a period of abnormally elevated, expansive, or irritable mood lasting at least one week (or less if hospitalization is necessary).
  2. The person may also have experienced one or more major depressive episodes, although these are not required for a diagnosis of Bipolar 1 Disorder.
  3. The symptoms of the manic episode must not be better explained by another mental disorder, medical condition, or substance use.
  4. The manic episode must cause significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
  5. The person’s symptoms must not be due to medication or other medical treatments.

It’s important to note that a qualified mental health professional will typically conduct a comprehensive evaluation to determine whether a person meets the criteria for Bipolar 1 Disorder, and may also rule out other mental health conditions that can present with similar symptoms. Treatment for Bipolar 1 Disorder often involves a combination of medication and therapy to manage symptoms and prevent future episodes.