Common Signs of Bipolar Disorder

There’s a lot of confusion, misunderstanding, and stigma surrounding mental-health issues, and that goes for bipolar disorder as well. Unfortunately, this also keeps many people from seeking the help they need.

An estimated 46 million people worldwide have bipolar disorder, a chronic condition that makes it difficult to control mood. However, an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment can help sufferers manage their bipolar disorder symptoms.

Our team at Compass Mental Health & Wellness in Houston takes the time to get to know each of the people in our care. Not only does this help build a strong and trusting relationship, but it helps us create personalized treatment plans to help people manage their conditions.

Bipolar disorder may seem overwhelming, but we can help. Here are a few common signs of this condition.

Signs of bipolar disorder

When we think of bipolar disorder, we often focus on the extreme mood changes it can cause — from the highest high to the lowest low. However, it’s far more nuanced, and you can even feel depressed and euphoric at the same time. Symptoms can also vary in severity, and you can go years without having any at all.

Because bipolar disorder typically involves extremes in emotion, we often organize symptoms into two categories: manic and depressive.

Manic episodes

Signs of manic episodes include the following:

These symptoms can vary from person to person and last anywhere from a day to several weeks.

Depressive episodes

Periods of depression with bipolar disorder often include:

Like manic episodes, depressive periods can last for a day or several weeks. And as we mentioned above, you can have mixed periods where you experience mania and depression at the same time.

Types of bipolar disorder

While each type has different characteristics, they each involve very distinct changes in energy, activity, and mood. 

Bipolar I Disorder

This form typically includes manic periods that last at least seven days long. You may also have depressive periods that last at least two weeks. And your depression can be mixed with manic features. Furthermore, your symptoms may be severe enough that you may require hospital care

Bipolar II Disorder

Bipolar II also has depressive and manic periods. However, they usually don’t include the extreme manic features of Bipolar I Disorder.

Cyclothymic Disorder

This form of bipolar disorder includes a consistently unstable mood for at least two years with clearly defined episodes of manic and depressive symptoms. When you have cyclothymic disorder, you can have a “normal” mood for brief periods, but they usually last less than eight weeks.

You can also have bipolar disorder that doesn't meet the clinical specifications of each of the forms outlined above. The medical term for this is "unspecified" or "other specified" bipolar disorder.

Living with bipolar disorder

Fortunately, an accurate diagnosis can help restore your quality of life and stabilize your emotions. As part of your treatment plan, we might recommend a variety of techniques, such as:

With our personalized and compassionate approach, you can rest easy knowing that you’re not alone, and we’ll help you develop healthy ways to live with bipolar disorder.

Are you concerned you have bipolar disorder? To get a diagnosis, help, or both, book an appointment online or over the phone with Compass Mental Health & Wellness today.

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