Bipolar Disorder | Symptoms


What are some of the signs of bipolar disorder?

At times, a person who has bipolar disorder may feel very happy, full of energy and able to do anything. The person may not want to rest when feeling this way. This feeling is called mania (say: "may-nee-ah"). At other times, a person who has bipolar disorder may feel very sad and depressed. The person may not want to do anything when he or she feels this way. This is called depression. People who have bipolar disorder can quickly go from mania to depression and back again.

Other signs of mania include the following:

  • Feeling very irritable or angry
  • Thinking and talking so fast that other people can't follow your thoughts
  • Not sleeping at all
  • Feeling very powerful and important
  • Having trouble concentrating
  • Spending too much money
  • Abusing alcohol and drugs
  • Having sex without being careful to prevent pregnancy or disease

Other signs of depression include the following:

  • No interest or pleasure in things you used to enjoy, including sex
  • Feeling sad or numb
  • Crying easily or for no reason
  • Feeling slowed down, or feeling restless and irritable
  • Feeling worthless or guilty
  • Change in appetite; unintended change in weight
  • Trouble recalling things, concentrating or making decisions
  • Headaches, backaches or digestive problems
  • Problems sleeping, or wanting to sleep all of the time
  • Feeling tired all of the time
  • Thoughts about death and suicide


Management of Bipolar Disorder by KS Griswold, M.D., M.P.H. and LF Pessar, M.D. (American Family Physician September 15, 2000,

Written by editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 02/14
Created: 09/00