Extreme mood swings characterize bipolar disorder. A person with bipolar disorder can go from feeling glad to feeling depressed and hopeless within hours. These mood swings can be so severe that they interfere with a person’s ability to function at work or school or even take care of their essential needs.
Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that affects both men and women. However, it often manifests differently in men than women. In this blog post, we will discuss bipolar symptoms in men and how to best help them deal with the condition.
What Is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a mental illness that causes extreme mood swings. These mood swings can be so severe that they interfere with a person’s ability to function at work or school or even take care of their essential needs. People with bipolar disorder often experience periods of mania, during which they feel thrilled, energetic, and productive. They may also experience periods of depression, during which they feel hopeless, sad, and worthless.
What Is Not Bipolar Disorder?
We all have our ups and downs. But bipolar disorder is different. It is more severe. The symptoms last longer. And they interfere with day-to-day life.
Bipolar disorder is not simply a case of “mood swings.” It is a severe mental illness that can profoundly impact every aspect of a person’s life. Bipolar disorder is not caused by stress, though stress may trigger an episode. And bipolar disorder is not simply a result of “bad parenting,” though childhood trauma may be a factor.
How Can Bipolar Disorder Affect Daily Life?
Bipolar disorder can significantly impact a person’s ability to function in their daily life. If untreated, it can lead to:
- Job loss: People with bipolar disorder may have difficulty holding jobs because of their mood swings. They may call in sick often, arrive late, or be unable to concentrate on their work.
- Relationship problems: Bipolar disorder can put a strain on relationships. People with the condition may be irritable, angry, or withdrawn, making it challenging to maintain healthy relationships.
- Poor self-care: People with bipolar disorder may neglect their hygiene or fail to care for their basic needs, like eating and sleeping. This can lead to further health problems.
- Financial difficulties: Bipolar disorder can lead to financial problems. People with the condition may overspend during periods of mania, or they may be too depressed to work and earn money.
- Mental Disorders: Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness that can lead to other mental health problems, such as anxiety disorders.
- Substance abuse: People with bipolar disorder may use alcohol or drugs to self-medicate their mood swings. This can lead to addiction and further problems.
- Suicide: People with bipolar disorder have a higher risk of suicide than the general population. If you are worried that someone you know may be considering suicide, it is crucial to get help immediately.
Types Of Bipolar Disorder
There are three main types of bipolar disorder:
1. Bipolar I Disorder
This is the most severe type of bipolar disorder. People with bipolar I experience manic episodes that last for at least seven days or are so severe that they require hospitalization. They may experience a depressive episode lasting for at least two weeks.
2. Bipolar II Disorder
People with bipolar II experience manic episodes that are less severe than those experienced by people with bipolar I. They may also experience depressive episodes lasting for two weeks or more.
3. Cyclothymic Disorder
This is the least severe type of bipolar disorder. People with cyclothymic disorder experience periods of hypomania (mild mania) and periods of depression. However, these episodes are not as severe as those experienced by bipolar I or II.
What Causes Bipolar Disorder?
The exact cause of bipolar disorder is not known. However, it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Family history: People with a family history of bipolar disorder are more likely to develop the condition.
Brain structure: People with certain changes in brain structure and function may be more susceptible to bipolar disorder.
Stressful life events: Stressful life events, such as the death of a loved one or losing a job, can trigger bipolar disorder in people susceptible to the condition.
Bipolar Symptoms In Men
Although the symptoms of bipolar disorder may differ between men and women, two major differences that have been documented are that men generally display symptoms earlier and are less prone to depressive episodes.
Men with bipolar disorder may appear angry, irritable, or aggressive. They may also take risks, engage in risky behaviors (such as drinking or driving recklessly), or have problems at work or school. In addition, men with bipolar disorder are more likely to experience substance abuse and violence than women with bipolar disorder.
Manic Symptoms In Men
During manic or hypomanic episodes, men may:
- Feel extremely happy or “high” for long periods
- Have a lot of energy and feel very restless
- Talk more than usual, often with racing thoughts
- Be easily distracted and unable to concentrate
- Sleep less than expected
- Have an inflated sense of self-importance and think they can do anything
- Engage in risky behaviors
Depressive Symptoms In Men
During depressive episodes, men may:
- Feel hopeless, sad, or empty for long periods
- Lose interest in activities you once enjoyed
- Have difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Feel tired or have little energy
- Sleep too much or not being able to sleep
- Experience changes in appetite, resulting in weight gain or loss
- Feel worthless or guilty
- Thoughts of death or suicide
How To Help A Man With Bipolar Disorder
If you think a man in your life may be dealing with bipolar disorder, you should talk to him about your concerns. He may be reluctant to seek help, but it is essential to let him know you are there for him and encourage him to see a mental health professional. In addition, there are several things you can do to support him:
Educate yourself about bipolar disorder: This will help you better understand what he is going through and how you can best support him.
Be patient and understanding: Men might be susceptible to the idea that they are dealing with a mental health condition, so you will have to be patient with them. Bipolar disorder can be challenging to deal with, and your loved one may have good and bad days.
Encourage healthy lifestyle choices: Stress and anxiety can worsen mood symptoms of bipolar in many people, so encouraging him to eat well, exercise, and get adequate sleep can help reduce the symptoms of bipolar disorder.
Help him stick to his treatment plan: This may include taking medication as prescribed and attending therapy sessions.
Offer emotional support: This can be a difficult time for your loved one, and he may need someone to talk to.
How To Treat Bipolar Disorder In Men
There is no particular cure for bipolar disorder, but it is a treatable illness. People with bipolar disorder can live healthy and productive lives with proper treatment.
Treating bipolar disorder usually includes medication and talk therapy.
Medication can help stabilize mood swings and prevent future episodes of mania or depression.
Mood stabilizers: Mood stabilizers can help reduce the symptoms of mania and depression.
Antidepressants: These medications can help treat the depressive episodes associated with bipolar disorder.
Antipsychotics: These medications can be used to treat psychosis or periods when a person loses touch with reality.
This can help people with bipolar disorder learn to cope with their illness and make lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of future episodes.
Cognitive behavioral therapy: This therapy can help a person identify and change negative thought patterns.
Interpersonal therapy: Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy. This therapy can help people with bipolar disorder establish healthy routines and stick to a treatment plan.
Family-focused therapy. This therapy can help people with bipolar disorder, and their families understand the illness and its effects.
Psychoeducation: Here, mental health professionals teach people about their mental health conditions. This type of therapy can help people with bipolar disorder learn about their illness and how to manage it.
Prevention Of Bipolar Disorder In Men
There is no sure way to prevent bipolar disorder. However, early diagnosis and treatment can help reduce the severity of symptoms of Bipolar or other mental health conditions and improve the chances of a successful outcome. In addition, living a healthy lifestyle can help reduce the risk of bipolar disorder. This includes avoiding drugs and alcohol, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting adequate sleep.
When To Get Emergency Help
Suicidal thoughts and actions are prevalent among men who have bipolar disorder. If you or any of your loved ones have suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, go to an emergency department, or talk to a trusted relative or friend.
In addition, if he is experiencing a manic episode, he may need to be hospitalized. This will help him keep him safe and provide him with the care he needs.
Though bipolar is a lifelong illness, there are many treatments available to help people manage their symptoms. If you think your loved one may be suffering from bipolar disorder, reach out to a mental health professional for an evaluation. With proper treatment, people with bipolar disorder can lead happy and healthy lives.
Remembering medication is not a cure-all for mental health conditions is also important. They can help you manage your symptoms, but if you want to experience the best recovery, it is crucial to work on adjusting your current lifestyle.