What are the types of bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that affects a person’s mood, energy, thoughts and behaviour.

There are two main types: bipolar I disorder (BPI) and bipolar II disorder (BPII). They are both lifelong conditions that involve mood cycles or mood swings, where a person experiences ‘lows’ (depression) and ‘highs’ (hypomania / mania) .

These mood swings can last a number of days (four or more days for hypomania) to a number of weeks (two or more weeks for depression) .

A person with BPI or BPII can also experience mixed states, meaning they have symptoms of both depression and hypomania at the same time.

For more information on ‘lows’ and ‘highs’, see "What do ‘lows’ and ‘highs’ look like?".