The Basics of Bipolar Disorder

Anxiety and depression are among the most common and well-known mental health issues affecting Americans today. We know, however, that these are not the only two mental illnesses that one can experience.

5.7 million American adults experience bipolar disorder. Sometimes referred to manic depressive disorder, bipolar disorder is defined by NIMH as “a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.”

While many people have heard of bipolar disorder, few people know how to recognize it. What are the symptoms of bipolar disorder. And, as a depressive disorder, what distinguishes bipolar disorder from depression?

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is categorized by both manic periods and depressive periods, each of which looks very different.

Manic Symptoms

  • Increased activity
  • Elevated mood or ego
  • High energy
  • Racing thoughts or feelings of being “wired”
  • Insomnia
  • Lack of focus
  • Irritibality
  • High-risk behaviors

Depressive Symptoms

      • Loss of interest in friends or activities
      • Feelings of guilt
      • Low energy
      • Forgetfulness
      • Oversleeping or insomnia
      • Loss of appetite
      • Suicide ideation



Bipolar Disorder v. Depression

While the depressive symptoms of bipolar disorder are pretty identical to those who experience depression, the manic symptoms differentiate these disorders. Depression is categorized by the long-term experience of depressive symptoms, while those who experience bipolar disorder will go through waves of both mania and depression.

These waves and moods vary depending upon the individual. There are different types of bipolar disorder for these variations, which often depend on the type of mania experienced and the length of these waves or episodes.

Blueprint Mental Health and Bipolar Disorder Treatment

Blueprint Mental Health is a boutique mental health provider that specializes in the use of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). DBT is effective in treating mood disorders, especially those like bipolar disorder that may cause high-risk behaviors.

We treat teens and young adults experiencing anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, or other mental health issues. We provide an individualized approach to outpatient therapy, and work with families and the community to promote different therapy skills.

Contact us today! Call (908) 256-6965 or e-mail


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