What is Bipolar I Disorder? Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention 

Bipolar I disorder is a mental health condition, and it also goes by the name of manic depression or manic depressive disorder. Today, we’ll discuss what is bipolar I disorder; its symptoms, causes, and treatment.

What is Bipolar I Disorder? 

Bipolar I disorder is when you experience a manic episode at least once in your lifetime. A manic episode comprises abnormally high energy, irritable and elevated mood, and unusual behavior that disturbs your life.

Often people with bipolar I condition also experience depressive episodes, and there is a cyclic pattern between depression and mania. That’s why some professionals call it “manic depression.” People with BP type 1 disorder can live healthy normal lives in between the episodes of depression and mania.

Bipolar I disorder could impact anyone and anyone can develop this condition. Approximately 2.5% of the US population (comprising 6 million people) is dealing with BPD conditions.

People exhibit the symptoms of BPD in their teens and early 20s, and almost everyone with BP type 1 develops and exhibits its symptoms before the age of 50. Immediate family members are at great risk of developing this condition.

Bipolar I vs. Other Types of Bipolar Disorders

People with BP type 1 condition experience a complete manic episode, and it comprises abnormal behavior and elevated mood. The symptoms of manic episodes would badly disturb your life, and the details of the symptoms are below in the symptoms section.

The symptoms of excitement and elevated mood don’t reach the level of full-scale mania episodes in the bipolar II disorder condition. Often they experience making a lot of fun, living life like a party, extreme cheerfulness, and that is not so bad. BP type 2 comprises significant depression, and it is very difficult to deal with if the hypomanic episode hasn’t occurred.

Symptoms of Bipolar I Disorder 

The manic episode in the BP type 1 manifests itself in the form of high irritability and elevated mood. Some of the main symptoms of abnormal behavior in the manic episode are as follows;

  • Substance abuse
  • Hypersexuality
  • Spending excessively
  • Inflated image of yourself
  • Limited need for sleep, hyperactivity, and highly energetic
  • Loud speech, uninterrupted, and rapid
  • Jumping from one idea to another in a moment

Mild/Extreme Episodes

In the manic episode, people follow unrealistic and grandiose plans, have physical intercourse with people that they normally won’t, and spend money lavishly way beyond their means. They start behaving bizarrely, become delusional, and lose touch with reality during the severe manic episode.


If you don’t treat BP type 1 condition, the symptoms of manic episodes would tend to last from a few days to a number of months. The depressive episode would follow after the manic episode, and possibly it won’t exhibit its symptoms for a few weeks or months. Many people with BP type 1 experience a long gap without symptoms in every episode.

Rapid Cycling

Some people (minority) experience the symptoms of depression and mania in a cyclic mode rapidly. They experience unique episodes of depression and mania roundabout 4 to 5 times a year. The mood episodes people experience can have mixed features, where the depressive and manic symptoms keep on occurring simultaneously. In fact, they would shift from one pole to another within the same day.

Depressive Episode

The symptoms of depression in the BPD are the same as they are in the clinical depression. They would last for a few weeks to a few months, and they rarely last longer than one year. Some of the main symptoms are as follows;

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Worthlessness and guilty feelings
  • Limited Activity
  • Lower Energy
  • Losing pleasure
  • Depressed mood

Treatment of Bipolar I Disorder 

The treatment plan for manic episodes in bipolar I disorder requires medication. Some of the main categories of medicines are as follows;

Mood Stabilizers

Before using any of the medicine, you should discuss them with your doctors because some of them have side effects. Some of the main types of mood stabilizers are as follows;

  • Lithium
  • Valproate
  • Carbamazepine
  • Lamotrigine
  • Oxcarbazepine


Some of the main antipsychotics medicines are as follows;

  • Haldol
  • Loxapine
  • Thorazine
  • Cariprazine
  • Ziprasidone
  • Risperidone
  • Quetiapine
  • Olanzepine
  • Colzapine
  • Asenapine
  • Aripiprazole
  • Lurasidone


Some of the top medicines under this category are as follows;

  • Lorazepam
  • Diazepam
  • Alprazolam


Some of the main antidepressant medicines are as follows;

  • Fluoxetine
  • Paroxetine
  • Sertraline
  • Cariprazine
  • Quetiapine Fumarate
  • Quetiapine
  • Olanzapine-fluoxetine
  • Lurasidone
  • Lamotrigine
  • Depakote
  • Lithium

ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy)

I know ECT has earned a scary reputation, but it is an effective and safe treatment for dealing with the symptoms of depression and mania. Often, doctors recommend ECT for severe mania and depression in bipolar I disorder when other medicines aren’t working.

Prevention Tips from Bipolar I Disorder 

Researchers still don’t know the exact and precise cause of BP type 1 disorder. You can not entirely prevent the condition. But you can lower the risk of depression and mania after it has developed.

If you work with the social worker and the therapist regularly, then your therapist would help you to recognize such factors that could destabilize your mood. If you take your medicine regularly, then you can prevent future episodes of depression and mania.

Conclusion: What is Bipolar I Disorder? Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention 

After an in-depth study of what is bipolar I disorder; its symptoms, treatment, and prevention tips; we have realized that BP type 1 could jeopardize your life completely if untreated. If you see its symptoms in any of the people around, then you should recommend them to the nearest mental health institution.