Everything You Need to Know About Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disease is a intellectual health circumstance marked by means of large shifts in temper from mania to despair. Although bipolar disorder can be tough to manage, many effective remedies and strategies are available.

The condition was referred to as manic despair and bipolar sickness.

Key signs of bipolar ailment encompass:

  • episodes of mania, or extremely multiplied mood
  • episodes of despair, or low mood

These episodes can also remaining from a few days to several weeks or longer.

If you’re living with bipolar disease, the following treatment options let you learn how to manipulate mood episodes, that can improve now not only your signs but additionally your average fine of life.

Types of bipolar disease

There are three essential sorts of bipolar disease: bipolar I, bipolar II, and cyclothymia.

Bipolar I

Bipolar I is described via the advent of at the least one manic episode. You can also revel in hypomanic episodes, which might be much less excessive than manic episodes, or main depressive periods earlier than and after the manic episode. A character also can undergo a long length of strong temper earlier than experiencing either mania or melancholy.

This form of bipolar sickness affects humans of all sexes similarly.

Are sex and gender the same aspect?

People frequently use the terms sex and gender interchangeably, however they’ve distinctive meanings:

  • “Sex” refers to the physical characteristics that differentiate male, woman, and intersex bodies.
  • “Gender” refers to someone’s identity and how they sense internal. Examples consist of guy, woman, nonbinary, agender, bigender, genderfluid, pangender, and trans. A person’s gender identity can also fluctuate from the sex they had been assigned at birth.

Bipolar II

People with bipolar II enjoy one main depressive episode that lasts at least 2 weeks. They also have at least 1 hypomanic episode that lasts about four days. According to a 2017 evaluation, this kind of bipolar ailment may be greater common in females.


People with cyclothymia enjoy a few signs and symptoms of hypomania and despair, but not enough to signify an episode of hypomania or depression.

These episodes also contain symptoms that are shorter and less extreme than the episodes associated with bipolar I or bipolar II sickness. Most human beings with this condition revel in no mood signs for 1 to 2 months at a time.

Your medical doctor can explain extra about what kind of bipolar ailment you have while discussing your diagnosis.

Some humans experience wonderful temper signs and symptoms that resemble but don’t align with those three types. If that’s the case for you, you might get a diagnosis of:

  • different detailed bipolar and related issues
  • unspecified bipolar and associated problems

Bipolar disease signs

To get hold of a diagnosis of bipolar disease, you must enjoy at least one length of mania or hypomania.

These each involve feelings of exhilaration, impulsivity, and high electricity, but hypomania is taken into consideration less excessive than mania. Mania signs and symptoms can affect your everyday existence at work or domestic. Hypomania signs usually don’t motive as lots disruption, but they are able to still be distressing.

Some humans residing with bipolar ailment additionally experience essential depressive episodes or “down” moods.

These three most important signs and symptoms — mania, hypomania, and depression — are the main capabilities of bipolar sickness. Different styles of bipolar disease contain distinct combinations of those symptoms.

Bipolar I signs and symptoms

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition (DSM-five), a diagnosis of bipolar I ailment calls for the following:

  • at the least one episode of mania that lasts as a minimum 1 week
  • signs and symptoms that affect each day feature
  • signs and symptoms that don’t relate to any other scientific or mental fitness condition or substance use

You could also experience signs and symptoms of psychosis or both mania and depression (known as combined capabilities). These signs can have extra impact for your existence. If you have them, it’s really worth attaining out for expert support as quickly as viable.

While you don’t need to enjoy episodes of hypomania or depression to acquire a bipolar I prognosis, many people with bipolar I do report those signs.

Bipolar II symptoms

A diagnosis of bipolar II requires:

  • at the least one episode of hypomania that lasts four days or longer and entails 3 or more signs of hypomania
  • hypomania-associated adjustments in mood and ordinary feature that others can be aware, though these may not always have an effect on your every day existence
  • at the least one episode of predominant depression that lasts 2 weeks or longer
  • at the least one episode of principal depression regarding 5 or extra key melancholy signs and symptoms which have a considerable effect to your daily lifestyles
  • signs that don’t relate to some other scientific or intellectual fitness situation or substance use

Bipolar II can also contain symptoms of psychosis, but only in the course of an episode of despair. You could also experience blended temper episodes, because of this you’ll have symptoms of despair and hypomania concurrently.

With bipolar II, although, you received’t enjoy mania. If you have got a manic episode, you’ll get hold of a diagnosis of bipolar I.

Cyclothymia symptoms

A diagnosis of cyclothymia requires:

  • durations of hypomanic signs and symptoms and intervals of melancholy signs, off and on, over 2 years or longer (1 12 months for kids and kids)
  • signs and symptoms that never meet the full criteria for an episode of hypomania or despair
  • signs that are present for at the least half of the two years and never absent for longer than 2 months at a time
  • signs and symptoms that don’t relate to some other clinical or mental fitness circumstance or substance use
  • signs that reason tremendous misery and have an effect on day-by-day lifestyles

Fluctuating mood symptoms represent cyclothymia. These signs may be less severe than the ones of bipolar I or II. Still, they tend to remaining longer, so that you’ll commonly have less time whilst you experience no signs.

Hypomania won’t have a large impact for your every day life. Depression, then again, regularly results in extra severe misery and affects every day feature, even in case your signs and symptoms don’t qualify for a main depressive episode.

If you do experience sufficient signs and symptoms to meet the standards for a hypomanic or depressive episode, your prognosis will probably exchange to another type of bipolar disease or fundamental depression, depending in your signs and symptoms.

Mania and hypomania

An episode of mania frequently includes an emotional excessive. You may experience excited, impulsive, euphoric, and full of strength. You might also feel jumpy or be aware your thoughts seem to race. Some human beings also revel in hallucinations and different signs of psychosis.

Manic episodes can involve conduct that’s greater impulsive than standard, regularly because you experience invincible or untouchable. Commonly referred to examples of this type of behavior include:

  • having intercourse with out using a barrier technique
  • misusing alcohol and tablets
  • occurring spending sprees

But impulsiveness can also display up in lots of different methods. Maybe you:

  • give up your activity suddenly
  • take off on a street journey by means of yourself without telling all of us
  • make a huge investment on a whim
  • drive a great deal quicker than usual, nicely above the speed limit
  • take part in intense sports you wouldn’t mostly recall

While there are numerous motives why someone would possibly have interaction in those behaviors, the key to mania is that these aren’t things you would choose to interact in periods of strong mood.

Hypomania, generally associated with bipolar II sickness, entails many of the same signs, although they’re less extreme. Unlike mania, hypomania frequently doesn’t result in outcomes at paintings, college, or for your relationships. Episodes of hypomania don’t involve psychosis. They usually received’t last up to episodes of mania or require inpatient care.

With hypomania, you might feel very efficient and energized, however you could not notice different changes on your temper. People who don’t recognise you nicely might not, either. Those closest to you, but, will normally pick up on your moving temper and electricity stages.

Major depressive episodes

A “down” trade in temper can go away you feeling torpid, unmotivated, and unhappy.

Bipolar-related episodes of fundamental melancholy will contain at least five of those signs:

  • a lasting low temper marked via deep disappointment, hopelessness, or feelings of emptiness
  • loss of power
  • a sense of feeling slower than standard or chronic restlessness
  • loss of interest in sports you as soon as loved
  • periods of too little or too much sleep
  • a sense of guilt or worthlessness
  • hassle concentrating, focusing, and making decisions
  • mind of loss of life, death, or suicide
  • modifications in urge for food or weight

Not anyone with bipolar ailment studies foremost depressive episodes, though many people do. Depending for your form of bipolar disorder, you would possibly experience only a few signs and symptoms of melancholy however now not the overall 5 wished for a first-rate episode.

It’s additionally well worth noting that occasionally, however now not always, the euphoria of mania can experience fun. Once you get remedy for mania, the symptom-loose temper you experience may sense extra like a “down” shift, or a duration of melancholy, than a extra standard mood state.

While bipolar disease can purpose a depressed mood, bipolar ailment and despair have one fundamental distinction. With bipolar ailment, you may have “up” and “down” temper states. With melancholy, even though, your mood and feelings may remain “down” until you get remedy.

Discover the variations among bipolar ailment and depression.

Bipolar disease signs in girls vs. Guys

Most studies shows that men and women receive bipolar ailment diagnoses more or less equally, although some research suggest it can be more generic in females. However, the principle signs of the disease may also range, depending at the intercourse you had been assigned at delivery and your gender.

Females with bipolar ailment generally tend to receive diagnoses later in lifestyles, frequently of their 20s or 30s. Sometimes, they might first note signs and symptoms in the course of being pregnant or after childbirth. They’re additionally more likely to be diagnosed with bipolar II than bipolar I.

Additionally, ladies dwelling with bipolar disorder generally tend to experience:

  • milder episodes of mania
  • extra depressive episodes than manic episodes
  • rapid cycling, or four or extra episodes of mania and despair in 1 12 months
  • more co-happening situations

Females with bipolar disorder may additionally enjoy relapse greater regularly, in part due to hormone changes associated with menstruation, being pregnant, and menopause. In terms of bipolar sickness, relapse means having a mood episode after not having one for a while.

Get the statistics about bipolar disease in ladies.

Males with bipolar sickness, then again, may also:

  • get a prognosis earlier in lifestyles
  • experience less frequent but greater extreme episodes, in particular manic episodes
  • be much more likely to even have a substance use disorder
  • display more aggression during episodes of mania

Bipolar disease in historically marginalized companies

Research indicates that people from historically marginalized groups, in particular those of African ancestry, are regularly misdiagnosed with different situations like schizophrenia, particularly if they show off symptoms of psychosis.

While the signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder can vary extremely from character to person and can rely on the kind, there are clear criteria for prognosis.

Research also suggests 50-75% of humans dwelling with bipolar disease will revel in some signs of psychosis, however that is stable throughout all racial and ethnic businesses.

Both these factors recommend that bias may additionally play a function in this common misdiagnosis.

Bipolar disease in kids and young adults

Diagnosing bipolar sickness in youngsters is arguable, largely due to the fact children don’t continually display the equal bipolar disorder signs as adults. Their moods and behaviors may no longer comply with the requirements doctors use to diagnose the sickness in adults.

Many bipolar ailment signs and symptoms that occur in kids also overlap with symptoms of different situations that usually arise in youngsters, inclusive of attention deficit hyperactivity sickness (ADHD).

However, within the previous couple of decades, doctors and intellectual fitness experts have come to apprehend the circumstance in youngsters. A analysis can assist children get remedy, however reaching a analysis may additionally take many weeks or months. It can be worth in search of care from a expert who focuses on treating children with mental health conditions.

Like adults, children with bipolar sickness revel in intense temper shifts. They can seem very glad and display signs of excitable behavior, or appear very tearful, low, and irritable.

All children enjoy mood changes, but bipolar ailment causes distinct and noticeable temper signs. Mood adjustments also are typically extra intense than a infant’s regular exchange in temper.

Manic signs and symptoms in youngsters

Symptoms of mania in kids can consist of:

  • performing very stupid and feeling overly happy
  • talking speedy and rapidly converting subjects
  • having hassle focusing or concentrating
  • conducting behaviors that can have harmful results
  • having a completely quick mood that leads quickly to outbursts of anger
  • having problem slumbering and not feeling worn-out after sleep loss

Depressive signs and symptoms in children

With bipolar disorder, signs and symptoms of depressive episodes in children can include:

  • moping around, performing very unhappy, or crying regularly
  • drowsing an excessive amount of or too little
  • having little electricity for common activities or displaying no signs and symptoms of interest in some thing
  • complaining approximately not feeling well, together with having common complications or stomachaches
  • emotions of worthlessness or guilt
  • ingesting too little or too much
  • thoughts of loss of life or suicide

Other viable diagnoses

Some of the conduct troubles you notice on your child ought to suggest different mental health conditions, which includes ADHD or melancholy. It’s additionally possible for kids to have bipolar sickness with another condition.

Your baby’s physician can offer extra steerage and assist with noting and tracking your baby’s behaviors, that may help them locate the right prognosis.

The correct analysis can play a main position in finding the only remedy to your infant. Treatment, of direction, can make a large difference to your infant’s symptoms, no longer to say their pleasant of lifestyles.

Read more approximately bipolar ailment in children.

Symptoms in young adults

Shifting hormones, plus the life changes that evidently show up with puberty, could make teens seem extraordinarily emotional now and again.

Yet drastic or rapidly fluctuating modifications in temper may recommend a greater critical circumstance, inclusive of bipolar disorder, rather than regular teenage development.

A bipolar sickness prognosis is most not unusual at some point of the past due teen and early adult years.

Common symptoms of mania in teenagers consist of:

  • being very satisfied
  • “appearing out” or misbehaving
  • taking part in behaviors that can have a harmful effect, like substance use
  • considering intercourse extra than regular
  • turning into overly sexual or sexually energetic
  • having problem slumbering, with out symptoms of fatigue or being tired
  • having a completely quick mood
  • having trouble staying centered or getting distracted effortlessly

Common symptoms of a depressive episode include:

  • dozing an excessive amount of or too little
  • eating too much or too little
  • feeling very sad and displaying little excitability
  • taking flight from sports and pals
  • questioning or speaking about loss of life and suicide

Remember that many of these signs, like experimenting with substances and considering sex, aren’t unusual teenage behaviors. But if they appear a part of a bigger pattern of moving moods or begin to have an effect on their everyday existence, they might be a signal of bipolar sickness or another situation.

Bipolar disorder remedy

Several treatments can help you control bipolar disease symptoms. These encompass medicinal drugs, counseling, and lifestyle measures. Some herbal treatments can also have benefits.


Recommended medications can also consist of:

  • mood stabilizers, which includes lithium (Lithobid)
  • antipsychotics, inclusive of olanzapine (Zyprexa)
  • antidepressant-antipsychotics, including fluoxetine-olanzapine (Symbyax)
  • benzodiazepines, a sort of anti-tension medication used for short-term remedy


Recommended remedy tactics can also consist of:

Cognitive behavioral therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of speak therapy that facilitates you perceive and address unhelpful thoughts and change unwanted conduct styles.

Therapy offers a secure space to talk about methods to manipulate your signs and symptoms. Your therapist also can provide guide with:

  • information notion styles
  • reframing distressing emotions
  • learning and training extra useful coping strategies

Get hints on finding the right therapist.


Psychoeducation is a healing technique focused round assisting you find out about a situation and its remedy. This knowledge can go an extended way toward supporting you and the supportive people in your life understand early temper symptoms and manage them greater effectively.

Interpersonal and social rhythm remedy

Interpersonal and social rhythm remedy makes a speciality of regulating daily conduct, along with napping, consuming, and workout. Balancing those normal fundamentals should cause fewer temper episodes and much less intense signs and symptoms.

Other options

Other approaches that can help ease symptoms include:

  • electroconvulsive therapy
  • sleep medications
  • supplements
  • acupuncture

Natural remedies for bipolar disorder

Some natural remedies might also help with bipolar disorder symptoms.

You’ll always want to check with your doctor or psychiatrist before trying these remedies, though. In some cases, they could interfere with any medications you’re taking.

The following herbs and supplements may help stabilize your mood and reduce symptoms of bipolar disorder when combined with medication and therapy:

  • Omega-3: Some 2016 research suggests that taking an omega-3 supplement may help with symptoms of bipolar I. However, a 2021 study found weak support for using the supplement to treat depression symptoms in bipolar disorder.
  • Rhodiola rosea: A 2013 review suggests this plant may help with moderate depression, so it could help treat depression associated with bipolar disorder, but this, too, has not been substantiated with newer research.
  • S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe): SAMe is an amino acid supplement that may help ease symptoms of major depression and other mood disorders. However, it can induce mania and may interact with other medications.

You should consult with a doctor before trying SAMe or any other herbal or natural remedies to help you manage your bipolar symptoms.

Lifestyle changes

Some studies suggest that lifestyle measures can help reduce the severity of your bipolar disorder symptoms. These can include the following:

  • eating a balanced diet
  • getting at least 150 minutes of exercise a week
  • managing your weight
  • getting weekly counseling or therapy

That said, the improvements reported by many of these studies were not significant, indicating that lifestyle interventions alone may not be enough to manage the condition. They may work better when combined with other treatments.

Causes and risk factors

Bipolar disorder is a fairly common mental health condition, but experts have yet to determine why some people develop the condition.

Some potential causes of bipolar disorder include:


If your parent or sibling has bipolar disorder, you’re more likely to develop the condition. The risk of developing bipolar disorder is 10% to 25% if one of your parents has the condition.

Keep in mind, though, that most people who have a history of bipolar disorder in their family history don’t develop it.

Your brain

Your brain structure may affect your risk of developing bipolar disorder. Irregularities in brain chemistry, or the structure or functions of your brain, may increase this risk.

Environmental factors

It’s not just what’s in your body that can affect your chances of developing bipolar disorder. Outside factors can also play a part. These might include:

  • extreme stress
  • traumatic experiences
  • physical illness

Can you prevent bipolar disorder?

Once you begin to experience mood episodes, you can take steps to help reduce the severity of those episodes and lower your chances of experiencing additional mood episodes. But you can’t always prevent mood episodes entirely or keep the condition from developing in the first place.

Future research may reveal more about the specific causes of bipolar disorder and give researchers more insight into potential ways of preventing the condition.

Common co-occurring conditions

Some people living with bipolar disorder also have other mental health conditions. A 2019 research review suggests that anxiety disorders are among the most common.

Other conditions that might occur alongside bipolar disorder include:

  • substance use disorders
  • eating disorders
  • specific phobia
  • ADHD

Symptoms of these conditions might show up more severely depending on your mood state. Anxiety, for example, tends to happen more commonly with depression, while substance use might be more likely with mania.

If you have bipolar disorder, you may also have a higher chance of developing certain medical conditions, including:

  • migraine
  • heart disease
  • diabetes
  • thyroid disorders

Tips for coping and support

If you’ve noticed symptoms of bipolar disorder, a good first step involves reaching out to a doctor or therapist as soon as possible.

Similarly, if a friend or loved one has symptoms, consider encouraging them to connect with a therapist as soon as possible. It never hurts to remind them that they have your understanding and support.

Always take suicidal thoughts and behavior seriously

It’s not uncommon to have thoughts of suicide during an episode of depression or a mixed features mood episode.

If you think someone is at immediate risk of hurting themselves or someone else:

Stay with them if you can. If not, call for help and support.
Remove any guns, knives, medications, or other things that may cause harm.
Listen, but don’t judge, argue, threaten, or yell.

Living with bipolar disorder

Treatment can help you manage mood episodes and cope with the symptoms they cause.

Creating a care team can help you get the most out of treatment. Your team might involve:

  • your primary doctor
  • a psychiatrist who manages your medications
  • a therapist or counselor who provides talk therapy
  • different professionals, such as sleep specialist, acupuncturists, or massage therapist
  • a bipolar sickness helps a group or community of other human beings also residing with bipolar disease

You might also need to strive for a few remedies before you locate one which leads to development. Some medications work properly for a few human beings but not others. In a comparable vein, a few humans discover CBT very useful, even as others may also see little development.

It’s continually best to be open with your care team approximately what works and what doesn’t. If something doesn’t assist or makes you feel even worse, don’t preserve returned from allowing them to know. Your intellectual health matters and your care group must continually guide you in finding the maximum beneficial technique.

A little self-compassion can pass an extended way, too. Remember that bipolar disease, like every other intellectual fitness condition, didn’t occur by means of choice. It’s not because of something you did or didn’t do.

It’s OK (and pretty not unusual) to sense annoyed when treatment doesn’t appear to paintings. Try to have persistence and deal with yourself kindly as you explore new tactics.

Bipolar disease and relationships

Bipolar disease can have an effect on your relationships. But those effects may seem maximum definitely to your closest relationships, like those with circle of relatives contributors and romantic partners.

When it involves managing a relationship while living with bipolar sickness, honesty can continually assist. Being open about your condition can help your accomplice better recognize your signs and how they can offer guide.

You might remember beginning with a few primary details, which include:

  • how long you’ve had the circumstance
  • how episodes of depression usually affect you
  • how episodes of mania usually have an effect on you
  • your remedy approach, including remedy, medicinal drug, and coping strategies
  • anything they are able to do to help

Want greater pointers on preserving a wholesome relationship when you or a companion has bipolar disease? Our guide can assist.

The bottom line

Bipolar disease is a lifelong circumstance, however, that doesn’t imply it has to absolutely disrupt your lifestyle. While residing with bipolar disorder truly creates some challenges, sticking together with your treatment plan, training in everyday self-care, and learning for your aid system can raise your standard of well-being and preserve signs and symptoms to a minimum.