Bipolar disorders are a group of mental health conditions that affect both men and women. In some ways, the impact of these conditions on each gender is more or less the same. However, if you’re a woman, your bipolar condition may also differ from one affecting a man in important respects. This is why it’s important to properly identify the symptoms of bipolar disorder in women.
At New Directions Mental Health, we can help determine the course of effective bipolar disorder treatment in Pennsylvania. Our team specializes in providing bipolar disorder treatment tailored to each client’s unique needs.
Understanding Bipolar Disorders
When most people mention bipolar disorder, there’s a good chance they’re referring to bipolar I disorder. Not only is this disorder the most severe bipolar condition. It also produces the clearest examples of the two classic bipolar symptoms:
- Major depression
- Periods of extreme mood elevation
However, there are also other kinds of bipolar disorders. Individuals with bipolar II disorder experience less severe manic and depressive episodes than those with bipolar I disorder.
You may also develop symptoms of cyclothymic disorder or cyclothymia. Individuals with this disorder experience shorter and less severe episodes of mania and depression, but their overall condition cycle tends to last much longer.
Some individuals experience rapid-cycling bipolar disorder, characterized by at least four episodes of depression or mania per year across all three types of bipolar disorder.
Similarities Between Men and Women Affected by Bipolar Disorder
When it comes to the impact of bipolar disorder, there are some significant similarities between men and women. First, research shows that, overall, men and women have equal chances of receiving a diagnosis of some kind. This gender equality also applies specifically to the odds of developing bipolar I disorder.
The symptoms of bipolar disorder in women and men are essentially the same, leaving no room for gender-based differences. In other words, a woman experiencing full-blown mania will have the same problems as a man. The same holds true for the effects of major depression.
Specific Factors Affecting Women
If the symptoms of bipolar disorder are the same in women and men, how do they differ by gender? Women with bipolar disorder:
- Tend to develop bipolar disorder at a later age
- Have higher chances of experiencing a bout of depression as their first symptom
- Are more likely to experience future episodes of depression
- Experience fewer bouts of mania
- Have increased odds of developing bipolar II disorder
- Are more likely to have other serious health problems
- Have higher risks for rapid-cycling bipolar illness
Women are also more likely to experience mixed symptoms of depression and mania. In addition, they have much greater chances of becoming suicidal as a result of depression.
Living with Bipolar Disorder as a Woman
Living with bipolar disorder is often more difficult for women than for men. Why? Women with bipolar disorder have higher chances of developing severe additional health concerns. They also report experiencing worse effects from their condition than men and are more likely to become suicidal.
These factors can make it difficult for women to maintain stability in their daily lives. The constant fluctuations between extreme moods, the added stress from other health issues, and the increased risk of suicidal thoughts can all significantly impact a woman’s well-being. It is essential for women to seek proper treatment and support in managing their bipolar disorder.
Call New Directions Mental Health to Find Out More About the Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
Have more questions about the effects of bipolar disorder in women? Get them answered today at New Directions Mental Health. We’re also your source for gender-specific bipolar treatment. We can give you a recovery plan designed for your situation. Ready to get started? Just call us today at 724.374.7414. We’re also available through our online contact form. No matter your situation, there’s a solution for you.