Know The Major Differences Between Bipolar 1 And Bipolar 2 Disorder



Published on: 12-Jun-2024


10 min read




Lalita Vishwakarma


Know The Major Differences Between Bipolar 1 And Bipolar 2 Disorder

Know The Major Differences Between Bipolar 1 And Bipolar 2 Disorder

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Hello readers! Have you ever experienced symptoms like depression, continuous mood swings, irritability, sleep disturbances and impulsivity? Well, these are all the most common indications of bipolar disorders. It includes mainly bipolar 1 and bipolar 2 disorder. 

Bipolar disorders 1 and 2 are both mental health disorders causing extreme mood swings, including intense highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression). Although both disorders share some common characteristics, some factors still make them different from each other. So, read the blog to know the major differences between bipolar 1 and bipolar 2 disorder.

Table of Contents

  1. Major Differences Between Bipolar 1 And Bipolar 2 Disorder

  2. List Of Factors That Differentiate Bipolar 1 And Bipolar 2 Disorder

  3. Dietitian’s Recommendation

  4. The Final Say

  5. FAQs

  6. References

Major Differences Between Bipolar 1 And Bipolar 2 Disorder

Bipolar disorders 1 and 2 are both mental health disorders causing extreme mood swings, including intense highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression). There are two main types – Bipolar 1 and Bipolar 2. Although both types involve mood swings, they differ in severity and duration. The disorder significantly affects daily life and relationships, requiring a combination of therapy, medication and lifestyle changes to manage effectively.

Also Read: Boost Mental Health with Diet & Exercise

1. Bipolar I Disorder

This disorder is characterised by manic episodes that last at least seven days or require hospitalisation. These episodes involve extremely high energy, euphoria or irritability, and sometimes psychotic symptoms.

Depressive Episodes

They can also experience depressive episodes characterised by intense sadness, lack of interest in activities, and significant impairment in daily life, although these are not necessary for diagnosis.

Severity: The manic episodes in Bipolar I are severe, can disrupt daily functioning and may lead to hospitalisation.

Also Read: Differences Between Mental Health And Mental Illness

2. Bipolar II Disorder

Individuals dealing with Bipolar II experience hypomanic episodes that last at least four days. These episodes are milder than full manic episodes and do not cause severe disruption in daily life or require hospitalisation (NIMH).

Well, the diagnosis of Bipolar II requires at least one major depressive episode, which can be more frequent and prolonged than in Bipolar I. These depressive episodes cause significant distress and impairment.

Severity: While hypomanic episodes are less disruptive, the depressive episodes in Bipolar II can be deeply debilitating.

Also Read: Top 5 Benefits of Nutritional Wellness For A Happy Life!

Bipolar 1 Disorder Vs Bipolar 2

Some of the major factors to know the difference between bipolar 1 & 2 are:


Bipolar 1 Disorder

Bipolar 2 Disorder

Manic Episode

A definite manic episode lasting at least seven days (or hospitalisation is required) * Symptoms cause significant impairment in daily life

Hypomanic episode lasting at least four days * Symptoms are present most of the day, nearly every day * Less severe than a manic episode, but still causes some impairment

Depressive Episode

May or may not experience major depressive episodes.

 If present, depressive episodes can be severe

Must experience major depressive episodes lasting at least two weeks

Severity of Mood Swings

More extreme mood swings  Manic episodes can be disruptive and dangerous

Less extreme mood swings * Hypomanic episodes can be productive but can also lead to problems

Hospitalisation Risk

Higher risk of hospitalisation due to manic episodes

Lower risk of hospitalisation

Overall Functioning

It can have a significant impact on work, relationships, and daily life

It may have a less severe impact on functioning but can still cause problems

Expert’s Advice 

As a nutritionist, it's important to remember that a balanced diet can make a difference for individuals with Bipolar I and II. I always recommend focusing on eating lots of vegetables and fruits to help support brain health and keep mood stable. Sticking to regular mealtimes and steer clear of processed foods, too much sugar, and caffeine is also important. And, of course, staying hydrated and limiting alcohol intake can play a big role in managing symptoms.

Health Expert
Aditi Upadhyay

The Final Say

Bipolar I disorder involves severe manic episodes that can disrupt daily life and may require hospitalisation. In contrast, Bipolar II disorder includes milder hypomanic episodes and more frequent, intense depressive episodes. Understanding these differences is crucial for accurate diagnosis and effective treatment.


1. What is the main difference between Bipolar I and Bipolar II?

The main difference is in the severity and duration of mood episodes. Bipolar I involves severe manic episodes that can significantly disrupt daily life and may require hospitalisation. Bipolar II features milder hypomanic episodes but more frequent and intense depressive episodes.

2. Is there a genetic component to Bipolar I and Bipolar II?

Yes, both types have genetic links. Specific genetic factors can affect the severity and type of mood episodes differently.


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