Generally, Bipolar Mood Disorder (BMD) is characterised by changes in energy, behaviour, thought and mood. BMD has signs of alternating high and low periods, whereas a person with depression has recurring lows.
Bipolar I has the more classic highs (mania) and lows (depression), whereas Bipolar II has the less severe highs, called hypomania, with a more frequent pattern of depression. Bipolar II is often misdiagnosed as depression because of the more subtle form of hypomania.
Often the person with Bipolar II hides the symptoms of hypomania from the health professional or confuses the signs with depression. Sometimes even medical doctors and psychiatrists miss the signs of hypomania. Cyclothymia is a milder form of bipolar with highs and lows that are less severe. Dysthymia is a low, depressed mood present more of the time than not.
Signs of the Depressive Periods of Bipolar
Signs of the Manic Periods of Bipolar
Signs of the Hypomanic Periods in Bipolar
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My story began in February 1987 when I was first diagnosed with Bipolar.