What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder?

bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mental health illness. The main symptoms of bipolar disorder are episodes of mania and depression to an extent.  When you experience mania or hypomania, you might feel extremely energetic, euphoric, or irritable.

When you become depressed, you might experience feelings of hopelessness, sadness, and lose interest in activities you previously enjoyed. Bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition, and the changes in mood can be debilitating and confusing. Nevertheless, with the right treatment it is possible to stabilise the illness. 


Key signs and symptoms


Mania is considered to be more severe than hypomania. With mania, you can feel extremely creative, energetic and excited about new interests or ideas, but this emotional high might get out of control and impact your life severely. It is crucial to get treatment for this; otherwise a manic episode might last a week or several months.



Hypomania is a milder version of mania, but both are distinct types of episodes. You might feel more in control when experiencing hypomanic episode in comparison to a manic episode. Usually hypomania lasts 4 to 7 days.



The symptoms of bipolar depression are similar to depression in humans without mania/hypomania. Bipolar depression usually lasts 2 weeks. However, if not treated, bipolar depression might last several months.


Common symptoms of a manic and hypomanic episode:

  • Unusually upbeat and jumpy
  • Poor decision making,
  • Less need for sleep
  • Increased talkativeness
  • Racing thoughts
  • Distractibility
  • Euphoria (increased self confidence and sense of wellbeing)
  • Abnormally energetic (e.g. spend an abnormal amount of money on shopping, or taking greater sexual risks)


Common symptoms of a depressive episode:

  • Hopelessness
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Lack of energy
  • Deep sadness
  • Increased, or decreased amount of sleep
  • Lack of interest in hobbies or activities previously enjoyed



Book A Free 15 Minute Assessment Call


Categories of Bipolar disorder

Here are some categories of bipolar disorder that might include episodes of mania/hypomania and depression:


Bipolar disorder I.   

Includes manic and depressive episodes.


Bipolar disorder II.

Does not include a manic episode. However, it does include one depressive episode and one hypomanic episode. This form of bipolar disorder is more common than bipolar disorder I.


Cyclothymic Disorder

The episodes of mania and depression for individuals with cyclothymic disorder are less severe and briefer than individuals with Bipolar I and Bipolar II.  Usually, individuals with cyclothymic disorder experience a month or two in a period where their moods are stable.


Bipolar disorder not otherwise specified (NOS)

The definition of Bipolar NOS is not very specific as it is extremely broad.  This condition includes manic and depressive symptoms experienced for some days. These particular episodes do not meet the minimal duration criteria for a manic episode and a depressive episode. Moreover, the individual possibly experience hypomania and depression. Nevertheless, the episodes are too brief to be qualified as a Cyclothymic Disorder. Otherwise, you might only experience hypomanic episodes without any depressive episode, or manic and mixed episodes in which you experience depression and mania simultaneously after you have been diagnosed with schizophrenia or a psychotic episode in the past.    



Treatment for Bipolar Disorder will focus on helping you to find new way to manage your bipolar disorder.  Living with Bipolar Disorder can be debilitating and confusing. We understand this, and we will help you to comprehend your thinking patterns and new ways to manage your condition.


Online Therapy & Counselling

Learn more about Bipolar Disorder

Here are some articles and blogs about bipolar disorder