There are four main types of bipolar affective disorder.
- Bipolar affective disorder I. This is when you’ve had at least one ‘episode’ of having an elevated mood that’s lasted for at least a week. You might also have periods when you feel depressed.
- Bipolar affective disorder II. If you have one or more periods of feeling really depressed, followed by a milder, manic episode, you may have bipolar affective disorder II.
- Cyclothymia or cyclothymic disorder. This is a milder form of bipolar affective disorder where your mood swings aren’t as bad as full bipolar affective disorder but last longer. However, it may develop into a full bipolar affective disorder.
- Rapid cycling bipolar disorder. If your mood swings from feeling manic to depressed very quickly and then back again, you might have rapid cycling bipolar affective disorder. Usually, you’ll have these mood swings at least four times over a year. These symptoms can also be caused by another mental health condition called an emotionally unstable personality disorder.