Bipolar Disorder is a serious mental illness that can cause significant impairment in day-to-day life.

There are a few different types of Bipolar Disorder, but some symptoms are consistent across these various forms. In some forms of Bipolar, some symptoms won’t be exhibited, like Mania.

In general, Bipolar Disorder involves periods of depression, mania, and hypomania. Sometimes, a mixed state is possible – where an individual has symptoms of mania/hypomania and depression simultaneously.

It is not always possible to see the signs of Bipolar Disorder

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar Disorder (once known as Manic Depression) is a serious mental health condition characterised by intense mood swings. Someone with Bipolar Disorder will experience both highs – known as mania, and lows – known as depression. These periods will often last for weeks, and can cause significant distress. Sometimes, Bipolar Disorder can start as Depression, before exacerbating. The depressive periods of Bipolar feature long-term periods of low moods. During the manic phase, an individual will feel happy, energetic and ambitious – and often act recklessly, or exhibit signs of psychosis. There are different sub-types of Bipolar Disorder, based around the differing characteristics of each. Bipolar Disorder is normally a chronic condition. However, with treatment, the symptoms can be controlled far more, which should result in an improvement in quality of life.

Symptoms of Depressive state

Here are some of the symptoms that are common when a person is in a depressive state:

  • Sadness
  • Hopelessness
  • Lack of energy
  • Loss of interest in formerly enjoyable activities
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Changes in appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Low self-esteem
  • Poor concentration
  • Suicidal or self-harm ideation

Symptoms of Manic state

Here are some of the symptoms that are often seen when a person is going through a phase of mania:

  • Excessively happy feeling, euphoria
  • Uncontrollably excited
  • Racing thoughts
  • Very confident
  • Not needing much sleep
  • Feelings of grandiosity
  • Acting impulsively
  • Taking risks
  • Irritable
  • More promiscuous
  • Symptoms of psychosis

Symptoms of Hypomanic state

Here are some of the symptoms that are often displayed when a person is going through a phase of hypomania:

  • Happy feeling, euphoria
  • Excitable
  • Racing thoughts
  • Higher confidence than usual
  • Not needing much sleep
  • Acting impulsively
  • Taking risks
  • Irritable

The impact these symptoms have

These symptoms will typically lead to an individual behaving in a markedly different way from their normal self.

For example, someone who is in a depressed state may feel suicidal, or avoid social activities wherever possible. Conversely, an individual in a manic state may engage in risky behaviour like drug abuse, or may appear to be over-friendly.

They may go on a spending spree that has significant long-term ramifications. Sometimes, symptoms of psychosis can appear.

The symptoms of Mania and Hypomania are similar. However, someone who is hypomanic will normally have more control than someone who is manic. Hypomanic episodes often last shorter than manic episodes, and psychosis will not be involved.


It is important to mention that each person’s experience of Bipolar Disorder can differ. Therefore, this isn’t an exhaustive list of symptoms.

But in any case, any of these symptoms can lead to suffering – and it is therefore very important for anyone exhibiting these symptoms to seek treatment.

See Also

  1. Bipolar Disorder: Everything You Need To Know
  2. What Are The Different Types of Bipolar Disorder?
  3. What Are The Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder?
  4. What Are The Causes of Bipolar Disorder?
  5. How is Bipolar Disorder Diagnosed?
  6. How Can Bipolar Disorder be Treated?
  7. What is the Prognosis for Bipolar Disorder?
  8. 10 Tips for Living With Bipolar Disorder

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