To observe confidentiality and safeguard the privacy of all patients, our practice does NOT accept insurance or payments from any third-party payor.

Become the Best Man, Father, Husband, and More. Eliminate All Barriers, Conquer Challenges, and Gain Full Mastery of Your Life.

An Overview of Bipolar Disorder: Common Symptoms and Causes

Bipolar Disorder is a Mental Health Condition that can have a serious effect on your mood, concentration, energy levels, and more. As with any type of Mental Health Disorders, Bipolar Disorder impacts your day-to-day life and can cause serious consequences for your work, social life, and more without treatment.  

That is why understanding Bipolar Disorder is crucial. By identifying this condition and its effects on your life, you can get the treatment you need to regain control and support your mental, physical, and emotional well-being. Learn the ins and outs of this Mental Health Disorder with our overview of Bipolar Disorder and its common symptoms and causes. 

An Introduction to Bipolar Disorder 

Severe shifts in mood and energy levels are the biggest characterization of Bipolar Disorder. Individuals with Bipolar Disorder experience cycles of extreme highs and lows, or mania and depression. For this reason, professionals once referred to Bipolar Disorder as Manic Depression.  

Manic episodes make an individual feel highly energized, while depressive episodes bring feelings of sadness or apathy. Cycling through these severe ups and downs is exhausting and can be dangerous and frightening for both you and your loved ones. Identifying these behaviors as an indicator of Bipolar Disorder rather than just regular mood swings is a key part of finding the treatment you need. 

There are three main types of Bipolar Disorder: Bipolar I, Bipolar II, and Cyclothymic Disorder. Each type presents different symptoms and challenges for individuals, but the main difference between them is the length and intensity of the manic and depressive episodes. 

Bipolar I Disorder 

Individuals with Bipolar I Disorder experience manic episodes that last for a week or more. They also often experience depressive episodes that last for two or more weeks. Bipolar I Disorder can also cause simultaneous depressive and manic symptoms. 

Those with a Bipolar I Disorder experience extreme symptoms during their manic episodes. They can be so intense that they cause psychosis, or a break from reality. Some individuals require hospitalization due to the intensity of their manic episodes. 

Bipolar II Disorder 

Bipolar II Disorder features shorter episodes of mania and depression. Individuals with this type of Bipolar Disorder usually experience episodes of hypomania, which is a less severe manic period. These episodes typically last a day or two. Though symptoms are still intense and frightening, hypomanic episodes usually do not require hospitalization the way Bipolar I manic episodes often do.  

Depressive episodes tend to last longer with bipolar II Disorder. These are often more intense than the hypomanic episodes and can severely disrupt daily life and well-being. 

Cyclothymic Disorder 

Cyclothymic Disorder, or Cyclothymia, features less intense cycles of hypomania and depression. Individuals diagnosed with Cyclothymic Disorder have experienced at least two years of repeating hypomanic and depressive episodes (or one year in children and adolescents). Many cases of Cyclothymic Disorder stem from other conditions, such as Depressive Disorders or Anxiety Disorders. This relationship means Cyclothymic Disorder is often a comorbid Mental Health Disorder. 

Symptoms of Manic Episodes 

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder change greatly depending on whether the individual is currently experiencing a manic or depressive episode. In manic episodes, symptoms revolve around high energy levels and heightened emotions. This aspect creates an “up” period that can cause you to feel elated, irritable, frantic, or powerful. 

Common symptoms of Bipolar Disorder manic episodes include hyperactivity, feeling jumpy or overly energized, experiencing racing thoughts, or talking quickly about many different ideas and topics. Individuals often experience increased appetites and desires. It is also common for people to get significantly less sleep during a manic episode. 

An exaggerated sense of confidence or importance can also occur, with many people feeling exceptionally talented, popular, or important during manic periods. However, this experience often comes with a sense of recklessness, poor decision-making, and a lack of self-awareness. 

Symptoms of Depressive Episodes 

Depressive episodes are on the opposite end of the emotional spectrum than manic episodes. These “down” periods revolve around low moods and energy levels.  

As with Depressive Disorders, depressive episodes can cause feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or numbness. Individuals might feel slow, helpless, or restless during depressive episodes. Difficulty concentrating, making decisions, and remembering things are also symptoms of depressive episodes. Sleeping difficulties—such as trouble falling and staying asleep or sleeping too much—are also a symptom. 

Many people with Bipolar Disorder lose interest in things they once enjoyed during depressive episodes. They might withdraw from activities and hobbies or avoid social gatherings with loved ones. In severe cases, individuals might also experience thoughts of death or suicide. 

Causes and Risk Factors of Bipolar Disorder 

There are many potential causes of Bipolar Disorder. Like many Mental Health Disorders, genetics are a risk factor. Individuals with a family history of Bipolar Disorder could develop it themselves. However, there is no single gene that causes Bipolar Disorder.  

Biological differences such as brain structure can also influence the development of Bipolar Disorder. Individuals with Bipolar Disorder exhibit differences in brain structure and functioning when compared to individuals without Bipolar Disorder. Though the reason for this is not clear, it can help mental health professionals identify the causes, symptoms, and effects of Bipolar Disorder in different patients. 

Comorbid Disorders 

There are other Mental Health Disorders that can occur alongside Bipolar Disorder. These conditions can complicate symptoms and present unique challenges or obstacles that prevent individuals from receiving effective treatment. A few examples of common comorbid disorders include: 

  • Anxiety Disorders 
  • Alcohol Addiction or Drug and Substance Abuse 
  • Eating Disorders 
  • ADHD 

Bipolar Disorder can also lead to the development of physical health issues such as headaches and migraines, thyroid issues, cardiovascular problems, obesity, and more.  

Before you can treat these mental or physical comorbid disorders, you must treat Bipolar Disorder itself. By tackling the root of the issue through evidence-based therapies that target the unique symptoms and causes of Bipolar Disorder, you can heal properly and create lasting positive change. 

Professional Treatment for Bipolar Disorder 

Bipolar Disorder does not have to control your life. With the help of a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, you can understand the root causes of Bipolar Disorder and find successful treatment. Make a positive impact on your life when you choose Blair Wellness Group as your Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Newport Beach, and Irvine therapist.  Our dedication to personalized, private, and expert mental health treatment makes us your top choice for care. Book an appointment with our team today and let us help you take the first step toward a healthier life. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Blog

The Link Between Anxiety, Depression & Other Mood Disorders

Anxiety Disorders and Mood Disorders make up some of the most common Mental Health Conditions for adults in the United States. Despite how common they are, though, there is still plenty of misunderstanding surrounding these disorders—especially when it comes to the relationship between them.   Comorbidity between Anxiety Disorders and Mood Disorders such as Depressive Disorders

How Childhood Trauma Leads to Developing Anxiety Disorders

Childhood experiences do not stop affecting you just because you reach adulthood. The things that impact your emotional and psychological health as a child continue to influence your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors throughout your entire life. This means that, without treatment from a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, childhood trauma and other adverse experiences can lead to

How Neuroplasticity Affects Thought Patterns & Disorders

As you face changes in your life, your brain also changes. Whether you are learning new skills, such as playing an instrument, or simply adjusting to new situations, such as moving to a new city, your brain’s ability to adapt is what allows you to grow throughout life. This ability is neuroplasticity. Like any form

Looking for a Local Psychologist?

Our Anger Management Therapists in Los Angeles offer evening and weekend appointments for our Concierge patients. Call us today at 310-999-4996 to discuss how Blair Wellness Group can help you overcome anger issues as well as other disorders, such as depression, anxiety, relationship challenges, addiction issues, and personality disorders. 

Scroll to Top

Request An Appointment

  • MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Cancellation/Refund Policy:

    Please note, there are absolutely NO refunds for ANY of your prepaid sessions in case of broken appointments by you as the professional times and days were reserved for you and will be considered as broken appointments. We ask that you do NOT make appointments unless you fully intend to keep all your future weekly appointments as we do NOT issue refunds on ANY prepaid appointment. Please note, our practice is fully committed based on previously scheduled times for our clients at least 2 weeks in advance.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.