Bipolar disorder is a form of depression

Psychiatry, Psychosomatics & Psychotherapy

Different forms are distinguished depending on the type and severity of the bipolar disease. Both the treatment strategy and the choice of a suitable drug depend on the type of bipolar disorder a person suffers from.

1. Bipolar I disorder

Both manic and depressive episodes occur in bipolar I disorder. The depressive phase lasts at least 14 days and the manic episode lasts at least 7 days and is often very pronounced and leads to negative consequences (debts, marital problems, etc.). This form of bipolar disease affects women and men equally often. It is estimated to occur in 1 to 2% of the population.

2. Bipolar II disorder

Bipolar II disorder is characterized by depressive episodes and at least one hypomanic phase that lasts at least 4 days. With an incidence of 2-4% in the population, bipolar II disorder is quite common.

3. Rapid cycling

One speaks of "rapid cycling" if at least four or more episodes of mania, hypomania or depression occur within twelve months. Mixed episodes can also occur. Only 20% of the patients show rapid cycling from the start, the high frequency often only develops later. Rapid cycling is often a complicated form of the disease, and some patients are prone to mood lability and adjustment problems even in the episode-free intervals. Overall, 15 to 20% of patients with bipolar disease have rapid cycling. Women are more often affected than men.