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Signs of Bipolar Disorder

a person and a transparent copy of them with different emotions display signs of bipolar disorder

No one should have to navigate the complexity of bipolar disorder alone. With its dramatic mood swings, periods of high energy, and bouts of depression, it can be challenging for the individual and their loved ones. The key to supporting someone with bipolar disorder is understanding the signs and symptoms. A thorough understanding can prompt early intervention, leading to better management of the condition. It is, therefore, crucial to learn about the signs of bipolar disorder to provide the necessary help and support at the right time.

BRC Healthcare recognizes the importance of providing specialized bipolar disorder treatment programs for individuals living with this disorder. Our dedicated team of professionals understands the unique challenges that come with this condition and is committed to offering comprehensive care and support. Contact us at to learn more.

Bipolar Disorder Symptoms

Bipolar disorder, previously known as manic-depressive illness, is a complex mental health condition. It is characterized by periods of extreme mood fluctuations, oscillating between emotional highs, known as mania or hypomania, and lows, referred to as depression. These shifts go beyond normal ups and downs, significantly affecting an individual’s ability to function. Understanding bipolar disorder symptoms can be the first step toward getting a diagnosis and effective treatment.

Signs of a Manic Episode

During a manic episode, an individual might experience:

  • Euphoria or a feeling of invincibility
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Rapid speech and racing thoughts
  • Distractibility and difficulty focusing
  • Increased goal-directed activities
  • Risky behavior, such as impulsive spending, reckless driving, or risky sexual behavior

These signs are only one end of the spectrum of emotional intensity someone with bipolar will experience. A hypomanic episode shares similarities with a manic episode but is less severe, though it can still disrupt daily life and relationships.

Depressive Episode Symptoms

In contrast, a depressive episode is characterized by:

  • Pervasive feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • Lack of energy and fatigue
  • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

In some cases, individuals may experience “mixed features,” where symptoms of mania and depression occur simultaneously. They might feel sad and hopeless while also feeling extremely energized.

The signs and symptoms can vary greatly among individuals, with some experiencing episodes rarely and others several times a year. Bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition, but recognizing the signs is a crucial step toward effectively managing it.

How to Identify the Signs of Bipolar Disorder

Identifying the signs of bipolar disorder in a loved one is crucial for their well-being and getting them the help they need. Bipolar disorder, characterized by extreme mood swings, can significantly impact an individual’s life if left untreated. Here are some signs to look out for:

  • Mood swings
  • Changes in behavior
  • Altered activity levels
  • Social withdrawal
  • Troubling communication patterns

If you suspect that you or someone you know may be showing signs of bipolar disorder, it is essential to seek professional help. A mental health professional can conduct a thorough evaluation and provide an accurate diagnosis, leading to appropriate treatment and support. Remember, early intervention greatly improves the long-term management of bipolar disorder and enhances overall well-being.

Bipolar Disorder Signs vs. Signs of BPD

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) and bipolar disorder are two distinct mental health conditions often confused due to overlapping symptoms, primarily involving intense emotional swings. However, they differ significantly in the pattern and duration of these symptoms.

In bipolar disorder, individuals cycle through episodes of depression and mania, which can last for weeks or even months. These episodes are usually separated by periods of normal mood. On the other hand, individuals with BPD experience intense mood swings more frequently, often within the same day, and these are typically triggered by interpersonal interactions.

Another key difference is the nature of self-image and relationships. One of the signs of BPD is a pattern of unstable relationships and a distorted self-image, along with an intense fear of abandonment. Meanwhile, bipolar disorder does not typically involve these persistent self-image disturbances or chronic feelings of emptiness and abandonment.

While both conditions require professional diagnosis and treatment, their management strategies differ due to these fundamental differences. It’s crucial to understand these distinctions to ensure appropriate treatment and care.

Learn More About Bipolar Disorder Symptoms at BRC Healthcare

At BRC Healthcare, we understand that mental health is a vital component of overall well-being. Our dedicated team of compassionate professionals is committed to providing personalized care and evidence-based treatments tailored to your unique needs. We integrate therapeutic approaches to address a wide range of mental health conditions, helping your loved one reclaim control of their life.

Contact us at to learn more.