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What Are the Signs of Bipolar Disorder?

a person sits on a curb holding their head possibly struggling with signs of bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that mainly affects your mood. Those with bipolar disorder go through cycles of elevated and lowered moods that were previously referred to as symptoms of “manic depression.” However, the signs of bipolar disorder are not always so obvious. Before deciding if you or a loved one should seek bipolar disorder treatment, it’s essential to know the signs for which to look.

If you or a loved one struggle to manage symptoms of bipolar, Northpoint Seattle may be able to help. Our team of professionals can help establish healthy habits and create a medication plan for relief from the condition’s intensity. Call 888.483.6031 today to discover our bipolar disorder treatment options.

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that causes people to have mood swings characterized by elevated moods known as mania, coupled with periods of clinical depression. The intense lows can cause sadness, hopelessness, and a complete lack of energy to do things that bring enjoyment. During manic periods, euphoria, intense energy, and even irritability can occur. Swinging back and forth between these moods is the defining feature of bipolar and can make it challenging to regulate sleep, activities, or even clear judgment.

Mood swing episodes could occur rarely or multiple times a year, depending on the individual. Many people experience additional emotional symptoms between episodes, though some do not experience any—these mood swings often last a lifetime. However, many people can manage their symptoms with proper bipolar disorder treatment. In most cases, physicians will treat bipolar disorder with a combination of medication and therapy.

Types of Bipolar Disorder

A professional may diagnose bipolar disorder at any age, but symptoms typically first appear between the teenage years and early 20s. There are a variety of bipolar and related disorders. The most common types of bipolar disorder are:

  • Bipolar I disorder – is when somebody has had at least one manic episode either preceded or followed by hypomanic or major depressive episodes. Hypomania is a less intense period of mania.
  • Bipolar II disorder – will cause a person to have at least one major depressive episode and one hypomanic episode but never have a fully manic episode.
  • Cyclothymic disorder – is when somebody has had many periods of hypomania symptoms and periods of depression over at least two years.
  • Other types – bipolar and related disorders can sometimes be induced by certain drugs or alcohol or because of a medical condition.

Bipolar II disorder is not a milder form of bipolar I disorder. Instead, it is a separate diagnosis entirely. Individuals with bipolar II disorder are often depressed for more extended periods, which can severely impair them.

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder in Children and Teens

Symptoms of bipolar disorder can vary between individuals and can be especially difficult to identify in children and young teens. It is often difficult to tell if this is hormonal stress, regular mood changes, the results of stress or trauma, or signs of a mental health problem such as bipolar disorder.

Children and teens might experience distinct major depressive or manic episodes, but the pattern may differ from adults with the same condition. Moods may shift rapidly during these episodes. Some children may experience extended periods without mood symptoms in between episodes.

Many people don’t recognize the severity of their disorder or its impact on themselves and those around them. Because of this, many people don’t get the treatment they need for their condition. Some people with bipolar disorder enjoy the feelings of euphoria and cycles of being productive. However, the emotional crash of a depressive episode always follows, which can leave people distressed and in potential trouble.

Bipolar Disorder Treatment at Northpoint Seattle

If you or a loved one has symptoms of depression or mania, it is time to see a mental health professional to find a diagnosis and relief. At Northpoint Seattle, we can help you get the treatment and support you need. Call 888.483.6031 today to find relief from the symptoms of bipolar with a professional treatment plan.