Bipolar Disorder In Adults | Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Is Bipolar Disorder just restricted to teens and youth? Well, no! Did you know that about 1 in 40 adults from western countries like the US live with bipolar disorder? Yes, bipolar disorder in adults is that common! So, how can we ignore such a serious and widespread problem? In this article, we have mentioned everything you need to know about bipolar disorder in adults.

You can’t afford to skip this! We all go through mood swings in our daily lives! A traffic jam on the way to work, or an argument with a colleague pisses us off. Whereas getting to eat our favorite chocolate or a surprise from our friend uplifts our mood suddenly, doesn’t it? Such ups and downs in mood are so relatable to all of us, right? In many ways than we can imagine!

Suffice it to say, we all go through such ups and downs and experience such mood shifts! It is completely normal! But all mood swings are not normal! Do you experience frequent and intense mood swings or experience periods of intense mania? You feel overly energetic, impulsive, and euphoric, followed by episodes of deep depression, you feel hopeless, sad, and withdrawn.

It Is Likely You Are Suffering From Bipolar Disorder!

To enumerate, Bipolar Disorder, also called manic depression, can lead to dramatic shifts in a person’s mood and energy levels. It may affect their daily lives. Those with Bipolar Disorder experience episodes of intense mania where they feel very energetic and euphoric followed by episodes of severe depression where they feel hopeless and lonely!

It’s very challenging to live with this condition as it hinders us from living a normal and happy life! Tensed after reading all this? Don’t worry! You are not alone! An estimated 4.4% of U.S. adults experience bipolar disorder at some time in their lives. Yes, even adults suffer from bipolar disorder! But there’s good news! Being that; this is something you can easily overcome…

Bipolar Disorder Statistics

Fortunately, with proper treatment and management, you can manage bipolar disorder and lead a happy and fulfilling life! And now, on that note, this article guideline will try to discuss the management techniques of bipolar disorder in adults to consider. But, before we come to that, first let us understand the problem, its types, symptoms, causes, and diagnosis!

After all, isn’t awareness and understanding of the problem a crucial step toward the right solution? So, we help you take that crucial step by discussing everything you need to know about bipolar disorder in adults! First, let’s discuss, the topmost common types of Bipolar Disorder, especially, in adults. So that you can grasp an idea of what it’s all about in detail…

The Most Common Bipolar Disorder Types In Adults

Did you know that adults can have different types of bipolar disorder? Clearly, as you can see, from the illustration image above, there a various types of Bipolar Disorder that most adults face. As such, they may range from normal to even mild stages.

The Most Common Bipolar Disorder Types In Adults

Be that as it may, below is an elaborate definition of some of the most common Bipolar Disorder types that most adults face.



Bipolar I Disorder●     This type of bipolar disorder is defined by the occurrence of one or more manic or mixed episodes, which may be preceded or followed by hypomanic or depressive episodes.

●     These manic or mixed episodes may cause significant impairment in social, occupational, or other areas of functioning.

Bipolar II Disorder●     This type of bipolar disorder is characterized by recurrent episodes of major depression and hypomania.

●     Hypomania is a milder form of mania and is typically less severe than the manic episodes seen in bipolar I disorder.

Cyclothymic Disorder●     This type of bipolar disorder is characterized by numerous periods of hypomanic and depressive symptoms that do not meet the criteria for a full manic or major depressive episode.

●     These symptoms are present for at least two years in adults (one year in children and adolescents), causing significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other areas of functioning.

Oftentimes, a person might experience symptoms of bipolar disorder that do not match the three categories listed above. And, as a result, this is referred to as “other specified and unspecified bipolar and related disorders.” Having said that, below is a tutorial video guideline explaining what Bipolar Disorder is really all about in more detail for your further understanding:

Often the solution lies in understanding the cause of the problem! That said, without much further ado, let’s now try to understand the actual facts about what causes Bipolar Disorder in adults. That’s before we have a look at the signs and symptoms plus the diagnosis.

What Causes Bipolar Disorder In Adults?

To begin with, the exact cause of bipolar disorder in adults, particularly, is not yet known. But, there are some research studies that suggest some common factors may contribute to bipolar disorder in adults which are as follows:-

  • Genetics: Does your mother, father, or anyone in your family have bipolar disorder? Yes, it is believed that bipolar disorder often runs in families and has a genetic component.
  • Neurotransmitter Imbalances: Sometimes, imbalances in certain neurotransmitters that are responsible for regulating our moods like dopamine and serotonin, can lead to the development of the bipolar disorder in adults.
  • Environmental Factors: Stressful events, trauma, and life changes can also trigger bipolar disorder in adults. Certain medications may also increase the risk of bipolar disorder.
  • Brain Structure & Function: Studies suggest that structural and functional abnormalities in specific regions of the brain, especially those responsible for emotion regulation can trigger bipolar disorder in adults.

Moving on, how do you know whether you have bipolar disorder or it is just a normal mood swing? Essentially, there are some signs and symptoms that can help you identify Bipolar Disorder! Mostly, when it comes to those transitioning into adulthood.

The Main Signs And Symptoms

For your information, just like we aforementioned, a majority of people with Bipolar Disorder often experience periods of unusually intense emotions. As well as some notable changes in sleep patterns and activity levels. They may also engage in behaviors that are out of character for them — often without recognizing their likely harmful or undesirable effects.

Overall, these distinct periods are called mood episodes. Mood episodes are very different from the person’s usual moods and behaviors. During an episode, the symptoms last every day for most of the day. Episodes may also last for longer periods, such as several days or weeks. To make things much clear, below are some bipolar symptoms that most adults will face.

Consider the following:
  • Manic Episodes: These are characterized by high energy levels, periods of irritated or elevated moods, decreased sleep, racing thoughts, impulsive behavior, etc.
  • Hypomanic Episodes: These are just like manic episodes but are less severe compared to manic episodes.
  • Depressive Episodes: These are characterized by low energy and activity levels, hopelessness, and sadness. One may experience difficulty in concentrating, changes in appetite and sleep patterns, and thoughts of harm and suicide.
  • Mixed Episodes: These are a mix of mania and depression symptoms and may include racing thoughts, irritability, and suicidal thoughts.

Forthwith, can you relate to any of the above signs and symptoms and suspect that you have bipolar disorder? Then do not waste any time and get yourself immediately tested for bipolar disorder!

Diagnosis And Bipolar Disorder Tests For Adults

Bipolar Disorder is often diagnosed during late adolescence (teen years) or early adulthood. Sometimes, bipolar symptoms can appear in children. Although the symptoms may vary over time, bipolar disorder usually requires lifelong treatment. Following a prescribed treatment plan can help people manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.

With that in mind, for a proper diagnosis of bipolar disorder, it’s important that you try to seek help from a medical professional such as a psychologist or a psychiatrist from your nearby hospital or even a local medical health center. Whereby, they may use a variety of test diagnoses and evaluation methods to determine the case of bipolar disorder in adults.

These are the basic steps:
  • Full Medical History: The medical professional will ask you about the symptoms you are experiencing, your medical history, and whether anyone in your family has bipolar disorder or some other mental health condition, etc.
  • Physical Examinations: You may be asked to undergo some physical tests to rule out any medical conditions that could be contributing to the symptoms.
  • Psychological Evaluation: Certain psychological tests may be carried out to understand your mood, behavior, and thought patterns.
  • Diagnostic Criteria: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) can be used to know whether you have bipolar disorder or not.

So, what happened? Are you diagnosed with bipolar disorder already? Do not lose hope, not yet! One thing is for sure, there are various effective treatments to manage bipolar disorder in adults! Believe us, the next section is sure to replace the darkness of despair in your life with a new light of hope! So that you’ll have a general understanding of where to begin your journey.

Bipolar Disorder Treatment Methods In Adults

There are various effective treatment options available to manage bipolar disorder in adults. They help to reduce the symptoms of bipolar disorder and help you to live a normal and fulfilling life. They improve the overall quality of your life! We know after reading this, you must be excited to learn about these effective treatment options for bipolar in adults!

The below table mentions some of the effective and promising treatment options for managing bipolar disorder in adults.





●     Medications such as antidepressants and mood stabilizers can help balance the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain like dopamine and serotonin that are responsible for mood regulation.

●     This, in turn, can help reduce the symptoms of bipolar disorder in adults.



Psychotherapy such as CBT( cognitive behavioral therapy) can help adults with bipolar disorder manage their symptoms,  and help them develop better coping strategies, and improve their interpersonal relationships.

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)

●     This treatment is often recommended in case of severe bipolar disorder and when other treatments have not worked.

●     It involves passing an electric current through the brain to induce a seizure.


Lifestyle Changes:

Lifestyle changes such as following a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and engaging in activities that help manage stress like yoga and meditation, can help reduce the signs of bipolar in adults and can help them lead a better quality of life.

Please note, treatment for bipolar disorder is long-term and one may need to try different treatments to find the treatment option that is perfect for them. So, it is important to work with an experienced psychologist or a psychiatrist to develop a treatment plan that works best for your individual condition.

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For some reason, are you thinking of ignoring your symptoms and leaving them untreated? Please don’t! As a matter of fact, the below section will answer the why behind it!

What If The Condition In Adults Is Left Untreated?

Undiagnosed or untreated bipolar disorder can have serious consequences on the overall quality of your life. Some of the negative consequences of untreated bipolar disorder are as follows-

  • Increased risk of suicide
  • The symptoms of bipolar disorder and extreme mood swings can ruin relationships with friends and family.
  • The symptoms of bipolar disorder can also have a negative impact on work life.
  • Adults with untreated bipolar disorder can engage in risky and impulsive activities that can cause legal problems.

And thus, it is essential to get proper and timely treatment for bipolar disorder to avoid the above negative consequences! Are you one of those who believe in “ Prevention is better than cure” and looking for ways that can help reduce the risk of bipolar disorder?  Then do not miss reading the below section!

How To Prevent Bipolar Disorder In Adults?

First of all, are you diagnosed with mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression? If yes, it is important to seek proper treatment for it to reduce the risk of bipolar disorder. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to prevent bipolar disorder in adults. But, there are some effective ways that can help reduce the risk of bipolar disorder in adults.

As an example, following a healthy lifestyle, like eating healthy, getting proper sleep, and exercising regularly can lower the risk of Bipolar Disorder. By the same token, stressful events are known to increase the risk of Bipolar Disorder in adults. So, try to limit or lower the risk factors of getting stressed. Make sure that you also observe clean eating and do some exercises.

Equally important, learning to cope with stress and depression by following certain chronic stress management techniques like yoga and meditation can help reduce the risk of bipolar disorder. But, always remember, mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety disorders can increase the risk of bipolar disorder. So, try to stay positive and lead a stress-free life.

In addition, it’s also very important that you avoid taking drugs (quit smoking), and also limit any cases of alcohol abuse, as well as any other drug and substance abuse or related use.

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In a nutshell, receiving the right diagnosis and treatment can help people with bipolar disorder lead healthy and active lives. Talking with a healthcare provider is the first step. Whilst, keeping in mind, that the healthcare provider can complete a physical exam and other necessary medical tests to rule out other possible causes. Remember, it’s for your own greater good!

Thereafter, the health care provider may then conduct a mental health evaluation or provide a referral to a trained mental health care provider. Such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or clinical social worker who has experience in diagnosing and treating bipolar disorder. Mental health care providers usually diagnose Bipolar Disorder to determine the best measures.

So far, what are you thinking? Now is the time to win the battle against bipolar disorder and live a normal, happy, and fulfilling life by using the management strategies stated in the article that act like powerful weapons! Below are some more questions related to Bipolar Disorder in adults — do not miss reading the below FAQs. You might get an answer to your question!

Some FAQs And Their Answers

Before we share a few answers to the topmost FAQs that you may have, it’s good to note that, sometimes, people have both manic and depressive symptoms in the same episode. And, this is called an episode with mixed features. During an episode with mixed features, people may feel very sad, empty, or hopeless while at the same time feeling extremely energized.

Likewise, a person may have bipolar disorder even if their symptoms are less extreme. For example, some people with bipolar II disorder experience hypomania, a less severe form of mania. During a hypomanic episode, a person may feel very good, be able to get things done and keep up with day-to-day life. The person may not feel that anything is wrong.

But, in most cases, family and friends may recognize changes in mood or activity levels as possible symptoms of bipolar disorder. Without proper treatment, people with hypomania can develop severe mania or depression. That’s why it’s, usually, recommended that you seek some medical help from health practitioners as early as possible. A few FAQs & Answers:

  • Is Bipolar Disorder in adults permanent?

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that is characterized by episodes of manic and depressive symptoms. While it is a chronic condition that typically lasts a lifetime, it is important to note that bipolar disorder can be effectively managed with proper treatment.

  • Can bipolar disorder be permanently treated in adults?

Bipolar disorder is a chronic and complex mental health condition that requires ongoing management. While there is no permanent cure for bipolar disorder, with proper management, many people with the condition are able to live fulfilling and productive lives.

  • Can bipolar disorder in adults relapse?

Yes, bipolar disorder in adults can relapse, which means that an individual who has previously experienced symptoms of bipolar disorder may experience a recurrence of those symptoms after a period of remission.

Bipolar disorder is a chronic condition that requires ongoing management, and even with treatment, there is always a risk of relapse. Factors that may increase the risk of relapse include stress, substance abuse, medication noncompliance, and life changes such as a major life event or significant stressor.

  • What are some symptoms of bipolar disorder in females?

Bipolar Disorder is a condition that affects both males and females. However, the symptoms and experiences of bipolar disorder may differ between genders. Some common bipolar disorder symptoms that may be more commonly experienced by females include rapid mood swings, depressive episodes, irritability, sleep disturbances, etc.

Simply put, looking at a person’s symptoms over the course of the illness and examining their family history can greatly help. Especially, for a healthcare provider to determine whether the person has bipolar disorder along with another disorder. Moreover, being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder is not the end of the line — it’s just a great way to improve your health.

Summary Thoughts:

Notably, many people with Bipolar Disorder also have other mental disorders. Or conditions such as anxiety disorders, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), misuse of drugs or alcohol, or eating disorders. Sometimes, those with severe manic or depressive episodes also have symptoms of psychosis, which may include hallucinations or delusions.

Realistically, the psychotic symptoms tend to match the person’s extreme mood. For example, someone having psychotic symptoms during a depressive episode may falsely believe they are financially ruined. While, in the same fashion, someone having psychotic symptoms during a manic episode may falsely believe they are famous or have special powers.

Resource References:

That’s it! Everything that you needed to know about Bipolar Disorder, it’s main causes, signs & symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and a few FAQs with their answers. So, what’s your take on this? Is there something else that you think we can add to this guide? Kindly, feel free to share with us in our comments section, or even Contact Us if you’ll need more support and help.

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