Does anyone get debilitating anxiety with elevated mood? How do you deal with it?

I agree with pretty much your whole comment. So to second what you've said to OP, Hypomania and Mania are both identifiable via any emotional state that hallmarks an elevated mood. That includes agitation and irritability, anxiety and panic, ecstatic happiness and euphoria, etc. The idea that elevated mood turns all people with bipolar into supremely happy, albeit delusional, frolicking impulse buyers with no self control is in many ways now understood to be a myth. Bipolar is a complex illness with many components and the arrangement of these components varies between individuals.

I especially agree with /u/pillapalooza on their comments regarding BP1 and BP2. Diagnostically speaking many psychiatrists are also much less concerned with the distinction than they are with the presentation of symptoms. Severity and frequency of the symptoms are the defining characteristics of Bipolar Disorder, and the categories for 1 and 2 are the afterthought - the official diagnosis based on the arrangement of components.

I want to point out here that there is no competition between the 1s and 2s about which illness is harder to live with, or more debilitating. Each comes with its own set of problems and each can be equally painful to experience. Being diagnosed with either does not guarantee you will experience only diminished versions of mania, nor does it guarantee that every experience of mania will be extreme.

To give you a brief example I have suffered from both hypomania and mania. I have experienced the distress, anxiety. I have experienced delusions and psychotic episodes. I have also experienced episodes where it feels like I've taken a hit of speed and can't stop. I have experienced mixed episodes. And I have experienced depression that is so pervasive, crippling and unshakable that it has been a defining characteristic of a large part of my life. I also rapid cycle - the highest frequency of my cycling can be several mood swings in a day. Stability in my case is non-existent. I am extremely dysfunctional. The medication I take creates a buffer to protect me from the extremes, but it doesn't resolve any of these problems. My diagnosis is BP2, I understand why it's BP2, but that diagnosis in no way describes a Bipolare "Lite" situation. It describes a different arrangement of the components.

I give that example not to scare you, but just to explain that the face value explanations you read online which imply contrary to what we've said here should be read with a grain of salt. They are generalisations, and when it comes to mental illness generalisations have a tendency to miss the mark due to the illness presenting uniquely on an individual basis.

/r/bipolar Thread Parent