Menu Close

Unlock Your Potential

Contact Maple Leaf Counseling

What Are the Signs of Bipolar Disorder

a therapy group meets up for bipolar disorder treatment

Bipolar disorder doesn’t discriminate, affecting men and women alike; it cuts across all ages, races, and social classes. The condition is characterized by unusual shifts in mood, energy, and activity levels, which can interfere with your ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. For those experiencing these intense fluctuations, the mere thought of seeking help can be daunting. But what if treatment could help you regain control of your life?

Call 888.513.9317 or contact Maple Leaf Counseling online to learn about your options and how our bipolar disorder treatment program can help you. Take the first step toward improved mental health and quality of life today.

What Are the Signs of Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression, comes in several variations. Here, we are going to uncover the telltale signs associated with Bipolar I and Bipolar II disorders, as well as cyclothymic disorder, which may be considered on the spectrum.

Bipolar I Disorder

With Bipolar I disorder, people experience distinct episodes of mania and often depression. The manic episodes may be interspersed with periods of normal mood or major depressive episodes. These manic phases can last anywhere from a few days to several months and are characterized by the following signs:

  • Extremely elevated mood – During this phase, people may feel high, euphoric, or extremely irritable.
  • Increased activity, energy, or agitation – You might feel the need to move around and can’t sit still, be it for work or pleasure.
  • Racing thoughts and talking very fast – You may become more talkative than usual or feel pressure to keep talking.
  • Volatile judgment and impulsivity – High-risk behaviors such as spending sprees, impulsive sexual activity, and downright foolish business investments are common.
  • Decreased need for sleep – Some may go for days with little sleep yet still not feel tired.
  • Inflated self-esteem – You may believe you are capable of accomplishing extraordinary feats or feel you’re invincible.

Bipolar II Disorder

Bipolar II is a milder form of bipolar disorder where individuals experience mood or energy changes severe enough to interfere with day-to-day activities yet not as intense as full-blown mania (hypomanic episodes), as seen in Bipolar I. The major distinguishing features of Bipolar II disorder include:

  • Experiencing at least one episode of hypomania and one episode of major depression
  • Hypomania symptoms are similar to but less intense than those of mania
  • Severe depression symptoms can include feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and suicidal thoughts or behaviors

Cyclothymic Disorder

Cyclothymic disorder, or cyclothymia, is a milder form of bipolar disorder. Like bipolar disorder, cyclothymia consists of cyclical mood swings with emotional highs and lows that are less severe than those of bipolar disorder or bipolar II disorder. However, the symptoms are similar and will cause distress or difficulty in social and occupational life.

The hallmark of bipolar disorder is the presence of episodes known as mania or hypomania alongside depressive episodes. These highs and lows can vary in intensity and severity. People may shift quickly between these states, or they may have periods without any symptoms at all.

How Treatment Can Help

Receiving a diagnosis of bipolar disorder can be overwhelming. But the good news is that with proper treatment, many individuals with bipolar disorder can live fulfilling, healthy lives. Here are some of how treatment can help:

Medication Management

Mood stabilizers are commonly used to treat bipolar disorder and include medications such as lithium, anticonvulsants, and sometimes antipsychotics. These can help manage the symptoms of mania and depression and prevent the extreme highs and lows associated with bipolar disorder.


Talk therapy is a foundational treatment for bipolar disorder. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and psychoeducation help individuals recognize and change negative thought patterns and behaviors associated with their mood swings. Understanding the nature of the disorder is a critical part of therapy.


In some cases, particularly if the manic or depressive symptoms are severe, hospitalization may be necessary to ensure the individual’s safety, carry out rapid assessment and intervention, and adjust medications as needed.

Lifestyle Interventions

Certain lifestyle changes can greatly aid in managing bipolar disorder. Regular physical activity, a consistent routine, and a healthy diet can significantly impact mood and overall well-being. Additionally, avoiding drugs and alcohol is crucial, as these substances can worsen bipolar disorder symptoms and complicate treatment.

Support Systems

Support from family members, friends, and support groups can help individuals with bipolar disorder feel less isolated and provide valuable information and coping strategies. A strong support system is essential for the long-term management of bipolar disorder.

Contact Maple Leaf Counseling for Bipolar Disorder Treatment Today

If you or a loved one is struggling with potential bipolar disorder symptoms, don’t hesitate to reach out. Treatment can enable you to manage your symptoms and lead a productive life. Take that first step and book a consultation with one of our compassionate therapists today. Call 888.513.9317 or contact Maple Leaf Counseling online to learn how we can help.