Women and Men Experience Bipolar Disorder Differently

Bipolar symptoms in women differ than in men. Women suffering from bipolar disorder may be misdiagnosed as simply having hormonal imbalances. Women with bipolar disorder commonly begin in the depressive stage. While men tend to begin in a mania stage. Women are more prone to rapid cycling than men, which means that they move from one episode to the other several times during the period of a year.  In the mania phase a woman often has inflated self worth leading a woman to become impulsive. During these impulsive stages a woman may go on shopping sprees and spend money that they don’t have using credit to make the purchases.  And often women during manic phases will become involved in sexual promiscuity. Which can lead to broken marriages and sexually transmitted diseases.
Many times women during an episode of  mania will have grandiose ideas and display unrealistic behaviors.  All of these activities will eventually lead to regret and guilt. The over spending will lead to financial difficulty and often these realities come when the woman has switched from mania to depression. It should be noted that bipolar disorder is called “BI” polar for a reason. Bi means ‘two’ which describes the episodes experienced by bipolar disorder sufferers. Some women who have depression but do not experience any manic episodes ever, can and will be misdiagnosed as having depression and therefore aren’t given proper medical treatment. Because bipolar means having episodes on either end of the pole.  Mania and depression. In order for a person to actually have bipolar disorder they must be experiencing both mania and depression. Not just depression alone. This information is important to keep in mind when learning about bipolar symptoms in women.

During their depressive episodes a woman may feel extremely tired. Wanting to sleep for excessive amounts of time. They lack energy and self motivation. They may even neglect their own personal hygiene. And in severe depressive episodes some may even contemplate suicide.

There are two types of bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder 1, known for being more severe, having a more pronounced switch between mania and depression. Bipolar disorder 2 on the other hand displays more hypo mania episodes. This mania doesn’t seem to affect the person suffering with it as much and isn’t known to be as disruptive to their life. Bipolar 2 is more common with women.

While most women do experience mood swings from time to time, don’t mistake these with bipolar disorder mood swings. Women with bipolar disorder will experience mood swings that last longer than normal mood swings and can affect a woman’s ability to function. And these mood swings can become worse during a women’s menstrual cycle, due to the fluctuation of her hormones. And while on the subject of hormones, it is important also when learning about bipolar symptoms in women to note that pregnancy can exacerbate bipolar disorder symptoms.

Women are a special breed and they do not need to feel ashamed or worthless because they have bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder can be stabilized with medication or therapy or a combination of both. The first step if you suspect you, or another woman you know may have bipolar disorder is to learn about bipolar symptoms in women. And proceed from there.