Symptoms of Bipolar disorders (mania, hypomania and depression) are experienced in different ways by different people, so finding a clinician who is able to really take the time to understand your symptoms is key to an accurate diagnosis. We can help.
Bipolar disorder is commonly misdiagnosed as the symptoms are similar to other conditions like depression, ADHD, personality disorders or addictions. Manic episodes don’t necessarily mean feeling elation – they can mean feeling incredibly irritable or even angry.
A manic episode is characterised by some or all of the following symptoms:
Not needing to sleep as much
Feeling energised and highly motivated
Being awake very late at night
Not being able to switch off
Pacing, foot tapping, fidgeting
Feeling restless and on the go
Feeling hugely creative / entrepreneurial, starting many new projects but not achieving much
Being more talkative than normal
Incohesive talking patterns
Feeling overly important or special
Investments that are risky or foolish
Behaviours that are dangerous (e.g. driving too fast)
Feeling irritable, angry or having angry / violent outbursts
Thoughts that move from one thing to another quickly
Being easily distracted
Hearing or seeing things that aren’t there
Paranoia or delusions
2/3 of people with Bipolar have a relative with Bipolar Disorder or major depression
People with hypomania often don’t get the ‘highs’ that you might associate with Bipolar disorder – in fact it’s common to feel intensely irritated, anxious or angry during hypomania.
You might find that you are more energised and motivated to get things done and may find you are talking and thinking faster. It’s common to experience many of the symptoms described in mania above , but to a lesser degree. Others may not even notice that anything is particularly wrong.
My symptoms were passed over as depression for years and basically left untreated. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder after seeing a very well qualified psychiatrist through Clinical Partners and now have the right medication – which has made all the difference.
Bipolar symptoms: depression
Manic depression is another term used for Bipolar disorder. It identifies that someone with Bipolar will experience manic episodes and will also experience episodes of depression.
Depressive episodes can be major depressive or can be episodes of milder symptoms.
Symptoms of depression:
Feelings of hopelessness and that things will never get better
Changes to sleep patterns – sleeping a great deal or not being able to get to sleep
Changes to appetite
Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
Feelings of guilt
Difficulties making decisions
Suicidal thoughts or attempts
Thinking of death (but not of suicide)
Do you have bipolar?
The bipolar test is an easy and anonymous way of finding out if the symptoms you are struggling with and how you are feeling is a result of bipolar. Your results may indicate whether you might benefit from treatment from one of our friendly clinicians.
People with hypomania usually find psychologically plausible explanations to their elated mood, e.g. some positive life events which may indeed make someone happy. It takes detailed analysis to identify the mood swings that occur independently from any real life events, or changes in behaviour that seems out of control.