How can I tell if I have bipolar disorder or hypomania?

Sometimes, individuals cannot completely relate to the symptoms of depression because their low periods are interrupted by days or weeks of excessive energy, a strong sense of self and a string of accomplishments. These folks may attribute their up and down periods to the normal stresses and joys of life. When the ups and downs are extreme, however, bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression) or cyclothymia (also known as hypomania) could be at work behind the scenes. A person with full-blown bipolar disorder experiences incredible up periods, but crashes soon after. One with cyclothymia may feel energized for a period and then a bit blue thereafter, but the swings are less severe.

You may have hypomania or bipolar disorder if:
  • You feel incredibly powerful and/or talented. In other words, you're experiencing very high self-esteem.
  • You feel incredibly energetic, as if you can accomplish many tasks/projects.
  • You monopolize conversations, talking too much or you feel pressure to keep talking.
  • You feel unusually irritable, often snapping with little cause.
  • You experience a decreased desire to sleep. There are so many projects to complete, after all.
  • Your thoughts race and collide. Many great ideas crowd your mind.
  • You get distracted easily or jump from topic to topic.
  • You behave recklessly, either by talking too much, spending too much or engaging in casual, even unprotected sex.
  • You focus on goal-directed activity.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.