The prevalence of bipolar I disorder is about the same in men and women, whereas multiple studies have shown that\u00a0women have a higher incidence of bipolar II. In clinical terms, there are important differences between bipolar in men and women. These differences apply to the nature of the mental illness, perception of quality of life and how the individual behaves in their social environment. Here we will focus on how bipolar symptoms in men are different from those of women, but first let\u2019s take a look at the types of bipolar disorder.\r\nTypes of Bipolar Disorder in Men, Bipolar Disorder in Women\r\nBipolar I Disorder\r\nThis is characterized by one or more manic episodes or mixed episodes (symptoms of both mania and depression) that last at least seven days. Typically, a person will also experience periods of depression with episodes lasting at least two weeks. It\u2019s common for episodes to be so severe that a person will need to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital.\r\nBipolar II Disorder:\r\nThis is characterized by a pattern of one or more major depressive episodes and at least one hypomanic episode. A\u00a0hypomanic episode\u00a0is less severe than a full-blown episode of mania. The elevation in mood and excited behavior isn\u2019t as intense. Bipolar II is sometimes\u00a0misdiagnosed as major depression. This can happen if hypomanic episodes go unrecognized or unreported.\r\nCyclothymic Disorder\r\nThis is a milder type of bipolar disorder. It\u2019s defined by numerous alternating periods of hypomanic and depressive symptoms. The episodes generally last at least two years in adults and one year in children and adolescents. The severity of this type\u00a0may change over time.\r\nAn Overview of Common Bipolar Symptoms\r\nWhile many bipolar disorder signs are unique to men, both men and women are likely to share some common bipolar symptoms. The signs of mania in bipolar include:\r\n\r\n \tFeeling unusually \u201chigh\u201d or optimistic\r\n \tFeeling extremely irritable\r\n \tHaving unrealistic beliefs about your abilities\r\n \tReckless behavior\r\n \tBeing easily distracted and unable to concentrate\r\n \tIncreased energy level\r\n \tInability to sleep\r\n \tRacing thoughts\r\n \tTalking quickly\r\n \tImpaired judgment\r\n \tHallucinations and delusions (in severe cases)\r\n\r\nThe signs of bipolar depression include:\r\n\r\n \tFeeling sad or empty most of the time\r\n \tIrritability\r\n \tHopelessness\r\n \tFatigue\r\n \tLack of energy\r\n \tChanges in weight or appetite\r\n \tSleep problems\r\n \tLow self-esteem or self-loathing\r\n \tConcentration and memory problems\r\n \tInability to experience pleasure\r\n \tSuicidal thoughts\r\n\r\nBipolar Disorder Symptoms in Men\r\nBipolar symptoms in men can look quite different than the mood disorder\u2019s symptoms in women. These differences can include:\r\n\r\n \tEarlier onset than women\r\n \tMore severe than women\r\n \tHigher incidence of manic episodes\r\n \tMore prone to aggressive behavior during manic episodes\r\n \tMore common dual diagnosis of drug and alcohol abuse\r\n\r\nHow Masculinity Can Affect Symptoms in Men\r\nMen are less likely to voluntarily seek help for psychological conditions like bipolar disorder. Many men with bipolar believe the strong, manly thing to do is to deal with their problems on their own. Many men\u00a0want to be self-reliant\u00a0at all costs. For a lot of men with bipolar disorder, asking for help feels like a sign of weakness. Based on masculine norms, men may also be more likely to view antidepressant medication or therapy as shameful or embarrassing. This belief increases their risk of suicide. Untreated bipolar disorder makes the symptoms (including suicidal thoughts) worse. This may lead to making a suicidal plan.\r\n\r\nMany men with bipolar disorder may also deny they have the condition. This is because we teach men not to show emotions. So rather than admit they\u2019re in emotional pain, they hide their symptoms. This is how bipolar symptoms in men can get out of control. This attitude towards mental health can also delay treatment for bipolar disorder symptoms.\r\nRehab Treatment is Needed\r\nBipolar symptoms in men may be hard to detect for reasons other than denial or secrecy. For example, mania is characterized by an exaggerated and ongoing state of euphoria. People just \u201cfeel great,\u201d resulting in extreme overconfidence. This can be problematic in a culture that encourages men to be confident, with confidence being a masculine trait. If a man displays extreme overconfidence, he (or anyone else) may not recognize his behavior as a bipolar disorder symptom.\r\n\r\nA tendency for risk-taking behavior is another common bipolar symptom in men. This involves a greater likelihood to abuse alcohol or drugs. But this symptom may go unnoticed in men because many people aren\u2019t surprised when they engage in this kind of risky behavior. An increase in reckless behavior might be a cause for concern but not necessarily a sign of bipolar disorder in others\u2019 eyes.\r\nBipolar Disorder Symptoms in Women\r\nWomen with bipolar disorder are more likely to experience rapid cycling. This is when you experience four or more episodes of depression and mania in one year and appears to be relatively more resistant to treatment.\r\n\r\nThere are other distinctive features of the mood disorder symptoms in women. They include:\r\n\r\n \tLater onset than men\r\n \tHigher incidence of depressive episodes\r\n \tHigher probability of experiencing simultaneous or overlapping symptoms of mania and depression (mixed episodes)\r\n \tIncreased likelihood of experiencing a physical illness at the same time (thyroid disease, in particular)\r\n \tMore likely to experience seasonal episodes \u2013 For instance, manic episodes\u00a0tend to occur\u00a0in summer, while depressive episodes usually take place in fall, winter and spring.\r\n \tGreater incidence of comorbid conditions, such as\u00a0eating\u00a0and\u00a0anxiety\u00a0disorders\r\n\r\nWomen with bipolar disorder are also\u00a0more likely to receive treatment\u00a0for their condition. This may because women find it easier to express their states of depression compared to men. Men can struggle to open up about their bipolar symptoms.\r\n\r\nThe above discussion shows that men have unique warning signs of bipolar disorder. This means they often need a tailored approach to\u00a0bipolar disorder treatment. Pay lose attention to men with bipolar disorder who are struggling with substance abuse or suicidal thoughts. These bipolar symptoms in men are risky and require immediate treatment. It\u2019s also important for men living with bipolar disorder to understand bipolar signs and know when it\u2019s time to ask for help. Recognizing the issue and getting support is the most effective way to cope with bipolar disorder in the long-term. Get the help and therapy you need for your mental health today at Lucida Treatment Center. Call <a href='tel:18669477299' data-ict-discovery-number='18669477299' data-ict-silent-replacements='true'>1.866.947.7299</a> to enroll!