Bipolar I Disorder Vs Bipolar II Disorder – The Difference

You may have been told you have bipolar disorder, but you may not have been told which type you have – bipolar I or bipolar II. Even if you have, you may be wondering what the difference is between the two types.

The first thing you need to know is that there IS a difference.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders by the American Psychiatric Association, it is broken down as follows:

BIPOLAR I:

Single Manic Episode

The patient has had just one Manic Episode and no Major Depressive Episodes.

Most Recent Episode (MRE) Manic

The patient has had at least one Major Depressive, Manic or a Mixed Episode.

MRE Hypomanic

The patient has previously had one or more Manic or Mixed Episodes (ME).

The symptoms cause clinically important distress or impair work, social or personal functioning.

MRE Mixed

The patient’s most recent episode is of mixed mania and depression.

The survivor has had at least one Major Depressive, Mixed or Manic Episodes.

MRE Depressed

The patient has had at least one previous Manic or Mixed Episode.

MRE Unspecified

Other than duration, the patient currently or recently meets criteria for Major Depressive, Manic, Mixed, or Hypomanic episode.

The patient has had at least one previous Manic or Mixed Episode.

These symptoms cause clinically important distress or impair work, social or personal functioning.

BIPOLAR II:

The patient has had at least one Major Depressive Episode.

Or has had at least one Hypomanic Episode.

There have been no Manic or Mixed Episodes.

These symptoms cause clinically important distress or impair work, social or personal functioning.

Specify Current or Most Recent Episode: Hypomanic. Depressed.

The difference between bipolar I and bipolar II, then, is that in bipolar II there is NO manic or mixed episodes; whereas, in every case of bipolar I, there IS mania involved.