bipolar disorder

Bipolar Disorder: Types, Signs, Causes, Treatment

Table of Contents

What is Bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental health problem where people have extreme mood swings. Sometimes they feel very happy and full of energy (called mania: and other times they feel very sad and low (called depression). These mood swings can affect how they live their lives.

Is bipolar A Genetic Disease?

Yes, bipolar disorder can run in families. If someone in your family has it, you might be more likely to have it too. But it’s not just about genes. Things like stress or using drugs can also affect if you get bipolar disorder or how had it is. So, while genes are part of it, other stuff matters too.

At what age does bipolar start?

Bipolar disorder usually starts when someone is a teenager or young adult, around 15 to 25 years old. But it can also begin later in life, when someone is in their 30s, 40, or even older.

What are Manic episodes?

In bipolar disorder, manic episodes are when someone feels very, very happy and energetic. They might talk fast, have lots of ideas, and feel like they can do anything. Sometimes they might spend too much money or do risky things. These episodes can last for days or weeks and can make it hard for them to do normal things.

What are Depressive episodes?

Depressive episodes are times when someone with bipolar disorder feels very sad and down. They might have no energy and not want to do anything they usually enjoy. They might have trouble sleeping or eat too much or too little. It’s hard for them to focus or make decisions, and they might feel worthless or guilty. These episodes can last for a while and make it really tough for them to do normal things.

Bipolar disorder in the United States (USA)?

Bipolar disorder is a serious mental health condition that affects many people in the United States. Here are some key points about bipolar disorder in the country:

  1. How Common It Is: About 4.4% of adults in the U.S. experience bipolar disorder at some point. Rates can vary among different groups and areas across the country.
  2. The Cost of Healthcare: Bipolar disorder costs the U.S. healthcare system more than $30 billion each year. This includes money spent on medical care, lost productivity, and other related expenses.
  3. Challenges in Getting Help: Some groups, like minorities, have a harder time getting diagnosed and treated for bipolar disorder. Things like stigma, not having insurance, and not having enough mental health services can make it tough for some people to get the help they need.
  4. How It Affects School and Work: Bipolar disorder can make it hard for people to finish school or keep a job. People with bipolar disorder might struggle more with school and work because of their symptoms.
  5. Access to Mental Health Services: Some parts of the country have fewer mental health services available. Rural areas and places with fewer resources might not have as many options for people with bipolar disorder to get help.

Types of bipolar disorder?

Bipolar I Disorder

Bipolar I means having strong mood swings. People with this type can have very high highs (called mania) and very low lows (called depression).


  1. Manic episodes can make people do risky things like spending too much money or using drugs.
  2. Sometimes, they can have strange thoughts or see things that aren’t real, which can be dangerous.
  3. If left untreated, the high highs can turn into a mix of feeling high and low at the same time, making things even more difficult.

Bipolar II Disorder

Bipolar II is similar, but the highs aren’t as extreme (called hypomania) and there are still lows (depression).


  1. Even though the highs aren’t as bad, people might still do impulsive things or feel irritable.
  2. Going from feeling high to feeling low can be tough to deal with, and it can affect daily life a lot.
  3. If not treated, it can lead to problems like using drugs or trying to hurt themselves, especially during the low times.

Cyclothymic Disorder

Cyclothymic disorder means having mood swings that aren’t as severe as bipolar, but they happen a lot and last for a long time.


  1. People with this disorder might find it hard to keep stable relationships or jobs because of the mood swings.
  2. Always feeling up and down can make them feel stressed and anxious, and it might lead to other problems like using drugs or feeling really sad.
  3. Making things even harder.

Signs of bipolar disorder?

Extreme Mood Swings

  • Feeling very happy and full of energy one moment, them feeling very sad and hopeless the next.
  • Quickly changing between these extreme moods.
  • Feeling overly excited or easily irritated for no apparent reason.

Changes in Activity levels

  • Doing things impulsively during high – energy times, like spending lots of money or taking risks.
  • Feeling withdrawn or lacking motivation during low – energy times.
  • Noticing big changes in how active or inactive someone is over short periods.

Shifts in Sleep Patterns

  • Having trouble sleeping during energetic times but not feeling tired.
  • Sleeping a lot or feeling tired all the time during low – energy times.
  • Not having a regular sleep schedule that matches how they’re feeling.

Impaired judgment and Decision – Making

  • Making decisions without thinking about the consequences during high – energy times.
  • Finding it hard to concentrate or make decisions during low – energy times.
  • Making choices that seem unusual or risky compared to usual behavior.

Changes in Appetite or Weight

  • Gaining or weight loss quickly without trying during mood swings.
  • Eating a lot more or a lot less than usual, depending on how they’re feeling.
  • Noticing big changes in appetite or eating habits during mood changes.

Difficulty Concentrating

  • Having trouble focusing or getting things done, especially when feeling sad or hopeless.
  • Feeling like thoughts are racing and hard to control.
  • Finding it tough to concentrate because of feeling easily distracted.

Psychotic Symptoms

  • Seemingly, things around them are different or strange.
  • Experiencing sensations that don’t match reality during the high or low times.

Interpersonal Problems

  • Having difficulty getting along with others because of mood swings or irritability.
  • Finding it hard to keep friendships or relationships stable.
  • Feeling like being alone or avoiding others during low – energy times.

Suicidal Thoughts or Behaviors

  • Thinking about hurting themselves or ending their life, especially when feeling sad or hopeless.
  • Feeling like life isn’t worth living.
  • Doing things that could harm themselves as a way to cope with intense emotions.

Bipolar disorder symptoms in females?

  1. Hormonal Changes: Women with bipolar disorder may feel mood swings Linked to changes in hormones during periods, pregnancy, or menopause.
  2. Unusual Symptoms: Some women may show different signs of bipolar disorder, like feeling more irritable, sleepy during the day, or getting upset easily.
  3. Quick Mood Changes: Women often switch between high and low moods more rapidly than men, making it harder to manage their feelings.
  4. After Pregnancy: After having a baby, some women develop bipolar disorder symptoms, like mood swings, feeling anxious, or having trouble connecting with the baby.
  5. Seasonal Patterns: Some women notice that their bipolar symptoms get worse at certain times of the year, like during fall or winter.
  6. Other Health Problems: Women with bipolar disorder are more likely to have other mental health issues, like anxiety or eating problems, along with bipolar disorder.
  7. Stressful Situations: Things like taking care of others, problems in relationships, or stress at work can make bipolar symptoms worse in women.
  8. Using Drugs or Alcohol: Women with bipolar disorder might use drugs or alcohol more often to deal with their mood swings, which can make their problems worse.
  9. Physical Symptoms: Some women feel physical symptoms alongside their mood swings, like headaches, stomach problems, or ongoing pain.
  10. Thinking About Suicide: Women with bipolar disorder are more likely to think about hurting themselves than men. Doctors need to check if they’re feeling this way and help them stay safe.

Bipolar disorder symptoms in males?

  1. Big Mood Swings: Sometimes, men with bipolar disorder feel very high and full of energy, then suddenly feel very low and sad.
  2. Doing Things Without Thinking: Men might do things impulsively, like spending lots of money or driving too fast, especially when they’re feeling high.
  3. Feeling Irritated: Instead of feeling super happy during high times, some men just feel annoyed and angry.
  4. Changes in Energy: They might have lots of energy and feel restless during high times, but feel tired and unmotivated during low times.
  5. Problems Sleeping: Sometimes, they can’t sleep at all when they’re feeling high, or they sleep too much when they’re feeling low.
  6. Trouble Focusing: it’s hard for them to concentrate or pay attention to things, especially when their moods are up and down.
  7. Losing Interest: Men might stop enjoying things they used to like doing, and just feel blah about everything.
  8. Feeling Agitated: They might feel jittery and can’t sit still like they need to be doing something all the time.
  9. Using Drugs or Alcohol: Some men might use drugs or alcohol more when they’re feeling all over the place, which can make things worse.
  10. Thinking About Hurting Themselves: Like women, men with bipolar disorder might think about hurting themselves, especially when they’re feeling really down. It’s important for doctors to check if they’re feeling this way and help them stay safe.

Bipolar disorder symptoms in children?

  1. Big Mood Swings: Sometimes, kids with bipolar disorder feel super happy and energetic, then suddenly feel sad or angry.
  2. Hard to Pay Attention: They might find it tough to focus on things, like schoolwork or games, and have trouble finishing what they start.
  3. Doing Things Without Thinking: Kids might do things without thinking about what might happen next, like spending all their money on toys or doing dangerous stuff.
  4. Getting Angry: Instead of feeling just a little mad, they might get angry and have big tantrums.
  5. Lots of Energy: They might have tons of energy and can’t sit still, always moving around and jumping everywhere.
  6. Problems Sleeping: Sometimes, they can’t fall asleep at night, or they wake up a lot during the night, making them tired during the day.
  7. Talking Fast: When they’re feeling excited, they might talk fast and have lots of ideas all at once.
  8. Feeling Like They’re the Best: Sometimes, they might feel like they’re the best at everything and can do anything, even if it’s not true.
  9. Feeling Sad: Other times, they might feel really sad like nothing is fun anymore, and they don’t want to do anything.
  10. Thinking About Hurting Themselves: Some kinds might think about hurting themselves or even think about dying. It’s important to talk to someone if they’re feeling this way to help keep them safe.

Causes of bipolar disorder?

Genetic Factors

  • Bipolar disorder often runs in families.
  • If someone in your family has bipolar disorder, you might be more likely to have it too.
  • Certain genes, related to how the brain works might be involved.

Biological Differences

  • The brain chemicals might be out of balance in people with bipolar disorder.
  • Parts of the brain that control mood might not work the same in people with bipolar disorder.
  • The way the brain is built or how it works could play a role.

Environmental Triggers

  • Big changes or stressful events in life can sometimes trigger bipolar episodes.
  • These things can mix with your genes to cause bipolar disorder.
  • Things like trauma or very stressful times might make bipolar disorder more likely.

Neurobiological Factors

  • Part of the brain that controls feelings and behaviors might not work right in bipolar disorder.
  • Chemicals in the brain that affect mood might be off balance.
  • This might be why people with bipolar disorder have big mood swings.

Hormonal Imbalances

  • Hormones, like those during puberty or pregnancy, can affect how you feel.
  • Changes in hormones can mess with the brain and make bipolar symptoms worse.
  • Hormones can sometimes affect the mood in people with bipolar disorder.

Substance Abuse

  • Using drugs or alcohol can mess up your mood, especially if you already have bipolar disorder.
  • Drugs or alcohol can make bipolar disorder worse.
  • Sometimes, people with bipolar disorder use drugs or alcohol to try to feel better, but it can make things worse.

Medical Conditions

  • Some other health problems can look like bipolar disorder or make it worse.
  • Some medications for other health problems can affect mood and make bipolar symptoms worse.
  • Having other health problems along with bipolar disorder can make it harder to treat.

Traumatic Brain Injury

  • If you hurt your head, it might change how your brain works and make
  • Bipolar disorder is more likely.
  • Sometimes, a big hit to the head can mess up the mood and cause bipolar symptoms.
  • People who’ve had a big head injury should watch out for mood changes and get help if needed.

Childhood Adversity

  • Tough times in childhood, like abuse or not having a safe place to live, can make bipolar disorder more likely.
  • Things that happen when you’re young can affect how your brain develops and make you more likely to have bipolar disorder.
  • Bad Things happening when you’re young can make it harder to deal with emotions later on.

Sleep Disturbances

  • Not getting enough sleep or having trouble sleeping can mess with your mood.
  • Sometimes, sleep problems can make bipolar disorder symptoms worse.
  • Making sure to get enough good sleep is important for managing bipolar disorder.

How to diagnose Bipolar disorder?

Sleeking Help

  • Talk to a doctor or mental health professional if you think you might have bipolar disorder.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re feeling overwhelmed by your moods.

Symptoms Evaluation

  • The doctor will ask about your feelings, actions, and any unusual experiences you’ve had.
  • They’ll want to know if your mood changes a lot, how much energy you have, and if you’ve had any big ups or downs.

Family History

  • Tell your doctor if anyone in your family has had bipolar disorder or other mental health problems.
  • Sometimes, these conditions can run in families, so it’s important for the doctor to know.

Mental Health Assessment

  • You might talk to a mental health professional who will ask you questions about how you’re feeling and how you’ve been acting lately.
  • They’ll try to understand your experiences and figure out if bipolar disorder might be a possibility.

Physical Examination

  • Sometimes, the doctor will do a check – up to make sure there aren’t any medical reasons for your symptoms.
  • They might check things like your heart rate, blood pressure, and ask about any other health concerns you might have.

Diagnostic Criteria

  • Doctors use a book called the DSM – 5 to help diagnose bipolar disorder, which lists specific symptoms and how ling they should last.
  • Meeting these criteria helps the doctor confirm if bipolar disorder might be causing your symptoms.

Questionnaires and Tests

  • Sometimes, the doctor might ask you to fill out a questionnaire or take a test to help with the diagnosis.
  • These tests can ask about your mood, energy levels, and any other symptoms you might be experiencing.

Treatments and medication for Bipolar disorder?

Mood Stabilizers

  • Medicines like lithium, valproate, and lamotrigine help keep mood swings under control.
  • They stop extreme highs (mania) and lows (depression) in bipolar disorder.

Antipsychotic Medications

  • Drugs like quetiapine, olanzapine, and risperidone help with strong mood changes.
  • They make manic episodes less severe and steady mood swings.


  • Some medicines can help with feeling very down, but doctors use them carefully.
  • SSRIs or SNRIs might be given, but they could trigger manic episodes sometimes.

Supportive Therapies

  • Family or group therapy gives extra help and teaches about bipolar disorder.
  • These therapies improve talking, reduce stress, and teach better ways to deal with problems.

Lifestyle Changes

  • Regular exercise, eating healthy, and getting enough sleep are very important for managing bipolar disorder.
  • Avoiding alcohol, and drugs, and keeping a regular schedule can help your mood stay steady.

Self – Care Strategies

  • Making self – care routines, doing relaxing activities, and enjoying hobbies can improve well – being.
  • Recognizing early signs of mood changes and getting help quickly are key to staying well.

Medication Adherence

  • It’s vital to take medicines as prescribed and see the doctor regularly.
  • Sharing concerns about side effects with the doctor helps make sure treatment works well.

Long – Term Management

  • Bipolar disorder is a long – term condition that needs continuous care and support.
  • Treatment plans change over time to match individual needs, including medicine, therapy, and lifestyle changes.

Collaborative Care

  • Working with a team of doctors and therapists ensures better care and support.
  • Open talks and working together with family and healthcare providers lead to better outcomes.

What types of therapy are used to treat?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

  • CBT helps people recognize and change negative thoughts and behaviors that affect their moods.
  • It teaches skills to deal with stress and control emotions to avoid mood swings.

Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy (IPSRT)

  • IPSRT helps people stick to regular routines, like sleeping and eating at the same times each day, to keep their moods stable.
  • It also helps with relationships and communication to improve overall well – being.

Family Therapy

  • Family therapy involves the whole family in treatment to understand and support the person with bipolar disorder.
  • It helps families communicate better and deal with the challenges of living with bipolar disorder.


  • Psychoeducation gives information about bipolar disorder, its symptoms, and how to manage them.
  • It helps people and their families understand the condition better and be more involved in treatment.

Mindfulness – Based Therapies

  • Mindfulness therapies teach techniques to stay present and calm, even during mood swings.
  • They help people accept their feelings without judgment and reduce stress.

Supportive Therapy

  • Supportive therapy offers emotional support in a safe space without judgment.
  • It helps people talk about their feelings and experiences with bipolar disorder.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

  • DBT combines CBT with mindfulness to help people manage intense emotions and improve relationships.
  • It focuses on skills like controlling emotions and communicating effectively.

Group Therapy

  • Group therapy lets people with bipolar disorder share experiences and learn from each other.
  • It provides support and helps people feel less alone in dealing with bipolar disorder.

Collaborative Care

  • Working with a team of doctors and therapists ensures better care and support.
  • Open talks and working together with family and healthcare providers lead to better outcomes.

What are the preventions?

  • Take Medicine as Told
  • Keep Checking in with the Doctor
  • Stay Healthy
  • Handle Stress
  • Stay Away from Drugs and Alcohol
  • Talk to Someone
  • Get Help Early
  • Learn About Bipolar Disorder

Best brain exercises to reduce Bipolar disorder?

Mindfulness Meditation

  • Sit quietly and focus on your breathing for a few minutes each day.
  • Pay attention to your steps and surroundings when you go for a walk.

Cognitive Training Exercises

  • Solve puzzles like crosswords or Sudoku to make your brain work.
  • Play games that test your memory, like matching cards.

Physical Exercise

  • Walk or jog around your area to make your body and brain feel good.
  • Try gentle exercises like yoga to relax your mind and body.

Creative Expression

  • Paint, draw, write, or play music to express yourself and feel better.
  • Write down your thoughts in a diary or journal to understand how you feel.

Social Interaction

  • Talk to friends or family members and spend time together doing fun things.
  • Join a group of people who understand what you’re going through and support each other.

Learning and Education

  • Read books or articles about things you’re interested in to learn new stuff.
  • Take a class to learn a new skill, like cooking or gardening.

Yoga and Mind – Body Practices

  • Do simple yoga poses and breathing exercises to relax and feel calm.
  • Try mindful activities like paying attention to how your body feels or eating slowly.

Healthy Lifestyle Habits

  • Eat healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to keep your brain and body strong.
  • Sleep at the same time every night to help your mood and energy levels stay steady.

Healthy diet for bipolar disorder?

Eat Different Foods

  • Try to eat many kinds of foods, like fruits, vegetables, grains, meats, and healthy fats.
  • Eating a rainbow of colorful fruits and veggies gives your body lots of good stuff it needs.

Keep a Routine

  • Eat meals and snacks at regular times each day to keep your energy steady.
  • Skipping meals at odd times can mess with your mood.

Omega – 3 Fats are Good

  • Eat foods with omega-3 fats, like fish (salmon, tuna), flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts.
  • Omega-3 helps keep your mood stable and might help you feel less sad or hyper.

Less Sugar and Junk Food

  • Try not to eat too much sugary stuff or junk food, like candy or chips.
  • These foods can mess with your mood and make you feel yucky.

Be Careful with Caffeine and Alcohol

  • Don’t drink too much coffee or soda with caffeine because it can make you feel jittery or mess with your sleep.
  • If you drink alcohol, try not to have too much because it can make your mood go up and down.

Drink Water

  • Drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated and keep your body feeling good.
  • Dehydration can make you feel tired and cranky.

Eat the Right Amount

  • Try not to eat too much or too little. Eat until you feel satisfied, not stuffed.
  • Eating the right amount helps you keep a healthy weight and feel good about yourself.

Ask for Help

  • Talk to a dietitian if you need help planning meals or figuring out what foods are best for you.
  • They can give you advice and support to help you eat well and feel your best.


What country is bipolar most common?

Bipolar disorder affects people in many countries, but it’s hard to say exactly where it’s most common. Some countries, like the United States, Canada, Australia, and certain European countries, seem to have more cases. This might be because of factors like healthcare access and stress levels. Overall, bipolar disorder can happen to anyone, no matter where they live.

Do bipolar people get angry easier?

Bipolar disorder can sometimes make people feel more irritable, so they might get angry faster. But not everyone with bipolar disorder feels this way, and getting help from doctors and learning coping skills can make it easier to manage these feelings.

What percentage of the world has bipolar disorder?

It’s hard to say exactly how many people worldwide have bipolar disorder, but it’s estimated to affect about 2.8% of adults. However, this number might be different depending on where people live and how they access healthcare.

Can bipolar people live a happy life?

Yes, people with bipolar disorder can live happy lives with the right help and support. With medication, therapy, and healthy habits, they can manage their symptoms and find joy and meaning in life. It’s important to get help from doctors and loved ones to stay well and happy.

Can you work if you are bipolar?

Yes, people with bipolar disorder can work. With the right support and treatment, they can manage their symptoms and do well in their jobs. It’s important to talk to employers about any help or changes needed at work. Getting support from doctors and taking care of themselves can help them succeed at work.

Which hormone causes bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is not caused by just one hormone. It happens because of a mix of things like genetics, biology, and life experiences. While hormones play a role in how we feel, they’re just one part of why Someone might have bipolar disorder. Scientists are still learning about all the different things that can lead to bipolar disorder.


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