Bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mental health illness known as a mood disorder. It impacts people’s activity, energy levels, ability to concentrate and causes mood shifts. When a person has bipolar disorder, everyday life is complicated.

Similar to other mental illnesses, there are multiple forms of bipolar disorder. There are three types of the illness: Bipolar I Disorder, Bipolar II Disorder, and Cyclothymic Disorder.

Roughly 2.8 percent of adults in the US have bipolar disorder each year. Males account for 2.9 percent of adults living with the disorder. About 2.8 percent of females have it. During a person’s lifetime, it’s estimated 4.4 percent of US adults might have bipolar disorder.

Although the average age of the onset of bipolar disorder is 25, it also affects adolescents. Studies show 4.3 percent of adolescents ages 17-18 have it. However, 3.1 percent of adolescents ages 15-16 and 1.9 percent of adolescents ages 13-14 also have the disorder.

Thankfully bipolar disorder is treatable.

The specific cause of bipolar disorder is still unknown. However, an imbalance of brain chemicals, environment, and genetics might play a role in a person developing the disorder. Nearly 80 to 90 percent of the bipolar population have at least one relative with the disorder or depression.6

The signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder differ among the three types of the illness.

Bipolar I disorder signs and symptoms include:

  • Experiencing a manic episode of one week or more. During the manic episode, the person experiences these symptoms: little sleep, speaking faster, difficulty controlling racing thoughts, easily distracted, constant activity, an increase in risky behavior.
  • A person may experience a hypomanic episode that will last four days in a row.

Major depressive episodes last for two weeks or longer. It must include five of the following symptoms:

1. Intense sadness
2. Loss of activities previously enjoyed
3. Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
4. Fatigue
5. Increase or decrease in amount of sleep needed
6. Being restless
7. Unable to focus
8. Frequent thoughts of dying or committing suicide.

Bipolar II disorder signs and symptoms include a person having one or more major depressive episodes and one or more hypomanic episodes.

Cyclothymic disorder signs and symptoms include:

  • Several periods of hypomanic and depressive symptoms during two years or more. Yet the symptoms are not considered a hypomanic or depressive episode.
  • The symptoms lasted for at least one year or more and never stopped for longer than two months.7
The main treatments used for bipolar disorder are medications and psychotherapy. The medicines can help a person control their symptoms. A person might need to take more than one medicine to find the right combination. Psychotherapy is beneficial because it allows people to realize and change behaviors, emotions, and thoughts. Therapy can also give coping strategies, education, skills, and support to you and your family.8

Mental illnesses can impact anyone. When symptoms of bipolar disorder are present, it’s essential to seek medical attention. The Honor First Mental Health Resources staff is here to provide the quality treatment you need. Please schedule your appointment with us today.

Works Cited

Works Cited

Medline Plus. “Bipolar Disorder.”, National Library of Medicine, 2019, Accessed 25 Mar. 2022.

National Institute of Mental Health. “Bipolar Disorder.”, Jan. 2020, Accessed 25 Mar. 2022.

—. “NIMH» Bipolar Disorder.”, Accessed 25 Mar. 2022.

Parekh, Ranna. “What Are Bipolar Disorders?”, American Psychiatric Association, 2017, Accessed 25 Mar. 2022.