What are the top 10 signs of bipolar?

Have you ever wondered if your feelings and mood swings could be a sign of something more serious? Bipolar disorder, or manic depressive illness, affects an estimated 2.5 percent of adults in the United States every year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). It is characterized by extreme shifts in mood that can range from very abrupt highs and lows—known as mania and depression respectively. While bipolar disorder can manifest differently for everyone who has it, there are certain signs that may indicate one is suffering from this mental health condition. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most common signs so that you know what to look out for should you suspect there could be an underlying issue at play with your well-being.

Experiencing extreme highs and lows in the mood:

One of the most common symptoms of bipolar disorder is experiencing erratic shifts in mood. Known as mania and depression respectively, these extreme highs and lows can range from intense elation or euphoria to severe sadness or despair. These episodes can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks.

During periods of mania, one may feel overly confident, energetic, irritable, or even reckless with their behavior. During periods of depression, one may experience feelings of worthlessness, low self-esteem, and/or suicidal thoughts.

It’s important to note that not everyone affected by bipolar disorder experiences both manic and depressive episodes—some will only experience bouts of either one type or the other.

Abrupt changes in energy levels and activity:

Another key sign of the bipolar disorder is sudden changes in energy and activity levels. During periods of mania, one may feel as if they have boundless amounts of energy and are able to take on any task; while during periods of depression, they may feel suddenly drained and unable to do even the simplest of tasks.

These drastic shifts can also be seen in one’s behavior. During a manic episode, one may act impulsively or recklessly—like speaking loudly, making grand gestures, talking rapidly or overspending money. Similarly, during periods of depression, one may take on a more withdrawn and passive approach to life.

Poor impulse control:

Another classic sign of the bipolar disorder is difficulty controlling one’s impulses. This can manifest in a variety of ways, such as engaging in risky behaviors like reckless driving or unsafe sex, overindulging in drugs or alcohol, taking on too many projects at once without being able to complete them, and more.

Racing thoughts:

People with bipolar disorder often experience a rapid succession of thoughts that can make it difficult to concentrate. This can include ideas, plans, and solutions popping into one’s head so quickly that they are unable to focus on any single task.

Sleep disturbances:

Another key sign of the bipolar disorder is sleep disturbances—people with this condition often have trouble sleeping at night, either because they are unable to fall asleep or because they wake up multiple times during the night and cannot return to sleep.

Depression-related changes in behavior:

Depression-related changes in behavior can also be a sign of bipolar disorder. These may include diminished interest in activities that were once pleasurable, social withdrawal, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, and difficulty concentrating.

Excessive spending or gambling sprees:

Another sign of the bipolar disorder is excessive spending or gambling sprees. People with this condition may often find themselves overspending on items that are not necessary, as well as engaging in risky behaviors such as gambling. This behavior can quickly lead to financial problems and other issues if it is not addressed.

Becoming easily distracted or having racing thoughts:

People with bipolar disorder may have difficulty staying focused on any one task for an extended period and can often feel as if their thoughts are racing. This can lead to difficulty concentrating, making it hard to get things done, and a constant feeling of being overwhelmed by the multitude of tasks that need to be done.

Irritability or outbursts of anger:

Irritability and sudden, uncontrollable outbursts of anger can also be a sign of bipolar disorder. People with this condition may quickly become angry or frustrated in situations that don’t warrant such extreme emotions. This behavior can often manifest itself in the form of violent or explosive episodes which can be damaging to relationships and lead to further psychological issues if not dealt with properly.

Significant changes in energy levels:

People with bipolar disorder may experience significant changes in their energy levels throughout the day. This can manifest in extreme fatigue or exhaustion, as well as periods of feeling very energized or “hyper”. During times of mania, they may feel like they have unlimited amounts of energy and become more active, while during times of depression, they may feel drained and be unable to get up from bed.


Bipolar disorder is a complex mental health condition with a variety of signs and symptoms. These may include drastic shifts in mood, poor impulse control, racing thoughts, sleep disturbances, depression-related changes in behavior, excessive spending or gambling sprees, becoming easily distracted or having racing thoughts, irritability or outbursts of anger, and significant changes in energy levels. If you have any of these signs and symptoms, it is important to seek professional help so that you can get the treatment you need. With proper diagnosis and treatment, bipolar disorder can be managed and individuals can live healthy, productive life.

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