Written & Reviewed by
Gaston Molina
Published on
July 7, 2023

What is Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that affects a person’s mood, energy, and ability to function. It is also known as manic-depressive illness because it involves episodes of mania or hypomania (highs) and depression (lows). The symptoms of bipolar disorder can be severe and can interfere with a person’s daily life.

What are the Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder in Men?

The symptoms of bipolar disorder in men can vary depending on the type of bipolar disorder.

In bipolar I disorder, the symptoms of mania can include:

  • Feeling overly happy or euphoric
  • Having a decreased need for sleep
  • Talking excessively and rapidly
  • Racing thoughts
  • Being easily distracted
  • Engaging in risky behaviors such as gambling, drug use, or unsafe sex
  • Feeling irritable or agitated

During a depressive episode, the symptoms can include:

  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Losing interest in activities
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Fatigue
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Thoughts of suicide

In bipolar II disorder, the symptoms of hypomania are similar to those of mania, but they are less severe. The symptoms of depression in bipolar II disorder are the same as those in bipolar I disorder.

Cyclothymic disorder is characterized by less severe mood swings than bipolar I or bipolar II disorder. The symptoms of hypomania and depression are similar to those of bipolar disorder, but they are not as severe.

Understanding the Triggers of Bipolar Disorder in Men

Bipolar disorder can be triggered by a variety of factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, and environmental factors. In men, bipolar disorder can be triggered by:

  • Stressful life events such as a death in the family, a divorce, or a job loss
  • Substance abuse
  • Lack of sleep
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Medications such as antidepressants or steroids

It’s important to note that not everyone who experiences these triggers will develop bipolar disorder. However, if you have a family history of bipolar disorder or if you have experienced any of these triggers, you may be at a higher risk of developing bipolar disorder.

How is Bipolar Disorder Diagnosed in Men?

Diagnosing bipolar disorder can be challenging because the symptoms can be similar to those of other mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety. However, there are specific criteria that must be met for a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

A mental health professional will conduct a thorough evaluation, which may include a physical exam, psychological evaluation, and lab tests. They will ask about your symptoms, family history, and any medications or substances you are taking.

To be diagnosed with bipolar I disorder, you must have had at least one manic episode. To be diagnosed with bipolar II disorder, you must have had at least one hypomanic episode and one depressive episode. To be diagnosed with cyclothymic disorder, you must have had numerous periods of hypomanic and depressive symptoms that last for at least two years.

Treatment Options for Bipolar Disorder in Men

Bipolar disorder is a chronic condition, and there is no cure. However, with proper treatment, many people with bipolar disorder can lead healthy and productive lives. Treatment for bipolar disorder typically involves a combination of medications, therapy, and lifestyle changes.


Medications are often used to stabilize mood and prevent manic and depressive episodes. The most commonly prescribed medications for bipolar disorder include:

  • Mood stabilizers such as lithium, valproic acid, and carbamazepine.
  • Antipsychotics such as risperidone, olanzapine, and quetiapine.
  • Antidepressants such as fluoxetine, sertraline, and bupropion.

It’s important to note that antidepressants should be used with caution in people with bipolar disorder because they can trigger manic episodes.


Therapy can be an effective treatment for bipolar disorder. Types of therapy that may be helpful include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) helps people identify and change negative thoughts and behaviors.
  • Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (IPSRT) focuses on stabilizing daily routines and relationships.
  • Family-focused therapy involves family members in the treatment process.

Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle changes can also be helpful in managing bipolar disorder. Some lifestyle changes that may be helpful include:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Regular exercise
  • Avoiding drugs and alcohol
  • Stress management techniques such as meditation or yoga

Coping Strategies for Family and Friends of Men with Bipolar Disorder

It can be challenging to watch a loved one struggle with bipolar disorder. Here are some coping strategies that may be helpful:

  • Educate yourself about bipolar disorder
  • Encourage your loved one to seek treatment
  • Be patient and understanding
  • Encourage healthy lifestyle choices
  • Take care of yourself


Bipolar disorder is a complex mental health condition that can be challenging to manage. However, with proper treatment, many people with bipolar disorder can lead healthy and productive lives. If you or a loved one is struggling with bipolar disorder, seek help from a mental health professional. With the right treatment, you can manage the symptoms of bipolar disorder and live a fulfilling life.

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