Am I Bipolar? - Figuring It Out

Are you wondering, 'am I bipolar'?

The first step in seeking treatment for bipolar disorder lies in recognizing that one has the disorder. Also called manic depression, bipolar disorder causes an individual to experience dramatic, serious and extreme shifts in mood, behavior, thinking or energy.

Bipolar disorder affects energy levels, sleep patterns, sex drive, self-esteem, judgment, memory, concentration, and appetite. Additionally, bipolar disorder has been linked to an increased incidence of anxiety disorders, substance abuse, and health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, migraines, and high blood pressure.

Am I Bipolar?

Am I bipolar? The highs of mania can plummet to the lows of depression, and the cycles of feelings last for days, weeks, or months. These periods of highs and lows can be distinguished from the normal ups and downs that most people experience at one time or another due to the intensity of the episodes. Often, the mood swings can interfere with daily functioning and social interactions.

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For example, during a manic episode, an individual may have the irresistible impulse to leave their job, spend exorbitant amounts of money, or will demonstrate intense energy even after only a few hours sleep. They run about madly accomplishing tasks and often not weighing consequences.

Yet, within a few days or weeks, a depressive episode will virtually incapacitate them, making it difficult for them to perform even normal routines like getting out of bed. They will be in the throes of a dark depressed state, which often lasts a good deal longer than the manic periods.

For some, the manic periods appear mild, and so the diagnosis of bipolar disorder does not come until the condition progresses in severity.

Having read about the signs and symptoms, have you figured out, 'am I bipolar'?


The causes of bipolar disorder have not yet been uncovered; however, often, the condition passes from one generation to another. The first symptoms often occur in adolescence and early adulthood, though they can at first be subtle and thus overlooked. With proper treatment, however, most individuals with bipolar disorder can lead productive, creative, and fulfilling lives.

Types of Mood Episodes

Am I bipolar?

The symptoms of bipolar disorder vary widely among individuals, and include four types of mood episodes - Mania, Hypomania, Depression, and Mixed episode. These are described below, which should help you figure out, 'am I bipolar?'


  • Feelings of heightened energy, creativity, and euphoria; feeling unusually “high” and optimistic OR extremely irritable.
  • Rapid conversational patterns, chattering, and streaming thought patterns; racing thoughts; jumping quickly from one idea to the next; feeling intense pressure to verbalize and execute ideas.
  • Insomnia or need for very little sleep and a general sense of hyperactivity.
  • Feelings of all-powerfulness or invincibility; unrealistic, grandiose beliefs about one’s abilities or powers.
  • Reckless behavior such as gambling or engaging in inappropriate sexual activity; impaired judgment and impulsiveness.
  • Demonstrating intense anger, irritability and aggression, especially if demands are not met or ideas not taken seriously.
  • Highly distractible, unable to concentrate.
  • Experiencing delusions and hallucinations (in severe cases)


  • A less severe form of mania, hypomania causes the individual to feel euphoric, energetic, and productive, but allows them to carry on with daily life and not lose touch with reality.
  • Their interaction with others may be somewhat impaired, but still possible.
  • To others, it may seem as if people with hypomania are merely in an unusually good mood.
  • However, hypomania can still lead to poor decisions that harm relationships or careers.
  • Additionally, hypomania often escalates to full-blown mania or spirals down into a major depressive episode.


    Until recently, bipolar depression had been lumped in with regular depression; however, the two have notable differences. Bipolar patients tend to respond very poorly to antidepressants (which can trigger mania). In addition, their depression may be more restless and they may act out more quickly than an individual with clinical depression. Alternately, they may appear virtually incapacitated and in a sedated, almost comatose-like state. Symptoms include:

  • Feeling hopeless, sad, lost or empty.
  • Irritability or annoyance.
  • Inability to experience pleasure, a generalized feeling of deadened emotions or sensations.
  • Fatigue or loss of energy.
  • Physical and mental sluggishness.
  • Appetite or weight changes.
  • Sleep problems - insomnia or oversleeping.
  • Inability to concentrate and memory problems.
  • Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, hatred towards self.
  • Need for isolation.
  • Thoughts of death or suicide.

    Mixed episode

    This episode features symptoms of both mania and depression. Signs of a mixed episode include depression combined with agitation, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, distractibility, and racing thoughts. Such a combination of high energy and low mood can create a particularly high risk of suicide.


    As you can see, there is a wide range of signs and symptoms which can help indicate 'am I bipolar'. By recognizing them in yourself or loved ones, you can seek help early to avoid things getting out of hand.

    So, have you figured out 'am I bipolar' yet?

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    Are you married to a bipolar spouse or in a relationship with someone suffering from the disorder? Click here for a help manual that you may need.

    Click here to learn more about the 4-step "Joy Equation" to help cure your depression without drugs.

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