Bipolar disorder is a complex and chronic disorder of mood. It is a combination of depressive (bipolar depression), hypomanic, and manic (bipolar mania) episodes. In simple terms, you can define bipolar disorder as significant mood episodes (1). If you have bipolar disorder, you will witness extreme changes in your mood quite frequently. That means one time you are happy, but suddenly you are extremely sad, and vice versa. It might even happen that your mood is a combination of depression and somewhat happiness. Yes, it is confusing, but you can better understand when you know about the types of bipolar disorders. But, before we start with this, let’s take a look at what we will cover today.
- Types of Bipolar Disorders
- Bipolar Disorder Symptoms in Men
- Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder
Types of Bipolar Disorders
There are two types of bipolar disorders, that is, Bipolar Disorder I and Bipolar Disorder II (2).
Bipolar Disorder I
Patients suffering from Type I Bipolar Disorder have episodes of mania or depression. However, they can even suffer from mixed episodes that include symptoms of both depression and mania. The patient’s mood might escalate quickly and make them go out of control.
Bipolar Disorder II
Among the two types of bipolar disorders, this one is more common. Patients suffering from Type II will mostly endure several and severe depressive episodes. It also includes the occurrence of one hypomanic episode. Patients do not suffer from manic episodes like that of Type I.
Understanding the difference between the two types of Bipolar Disorders makes it to understand the different symptoms in men as well.
Bipolar Disorder Symptoms in Men
According to recent reports, almost 2.8% of adults in the United States are diagnosed with bipolar disorder. It was seen that the ratio between men and women suffering from bipolar disorder had no huge differences. Anyhow, the symptoms of bipolar disorders in men can be divided into three broad categories.
Bipolar Depression Symptoms
Bipolar depression symptoms in males can be grouped into behavioral signs, physical signs, and emotional signs. Men suffering from depression can show some common behavioral changes that range from drug abuse to making risky decisions like unsafe sex or gambling. The emotional signs are easier to detect as the mood changes. These include irritability, aggression, frustration, and anger. Any changes in mental health will directly affect the patient’s physical health. Therefore, men can experience sudden weight loss, headache, tiredness, restlessness, and more.
Depression affects the brain chemicals of the patient. It changes norepinephrine and serotonin levels in the brain. These are responsible for maintaining a happy mood. Therefore, bipolar depression symptoms in males include both severe mood changes along with physical illness.
Bipolar Manic Symptoms
Mania is an umbrella term used to refer to a condition where a person experiences behavioral changes drastically that can affect their functioning. Manic episodes can last for more than one week. Sometimes these episodes are also accompanied by bipolar panic attacks. Some of the mania symptoms in men include rapid speech, talkativeness, less sleep, engaging in goal-directed activities, distractibility, and racing thoughts (3).
There are also other hallmarks of manic episodes, which include,
- Mood lability
- Expansive mood
However, if the symptoms were present only for a few days but the condition effects were severe, this calls for immediate hospitalization. In cases like this, the patient suffers from true mania rather than hypomania, which most people think.
Bipolar Hypomania Symptoms
Hypomania is a condition that people diagnosed with type II bipolar disorder suffer from. Hypomanic episodes do not last long, but manifest attributes like flamboyance, excitement, gaiety, distractibility, and more. Men can even suffer from bipolar panic attacks during a hypomanic episode. The symptoms might even include making rash decisions, spending recklessly, losing track of the subject of discussion, and likewise. However, the symptoms might vary depending on the person. Hypomania changes the behavior, activities, and mood of the patient. The mood variation can be easily understood when the patient behaves differently than usual (4).
Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder
Whether you are having bipolar panic attacks or depression, you can take care of yourself before opting for a psychiatric assessment. Keep a record of your daily activities, sleep patterns, and mood. This would help you assess your condition better and identify activities that allow you to relax and keep your mood under control. You can also follow a fixed schedule of sleep that you can follow to further keep the symptoms under control. You can even follow a healthy diet and exercise schedule that would support both your physical and mental health.
However, if this method does not work for you, you must see a psychiatrist or a psychologist as soon as possible. Therefore, you can get appropriate treatment and channel your behavior, feelings, and thoughts accordingly.
Bipolar disorder affects men and women differently. The symptoms are diagnosed accordingly that helps in the reduction of its effects. Getting diagnosed would also help in preventing the recurrence of these symptoms. So, hold tight and work towards a healthier life.
Christopher writes articles for C4H and a few international blogs. He has a passion for writing about Relationships, Lifestyle Coaching and conducting workshops on subjects like self-growth, achieving bliss and fulfillment, materializing the life you desire, etc. He has guided countless individuals and organizations around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships.