How to tell if a woman has bipolar disorder

How to tell if a woman has bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder affects over two million Americans. Extreme mood swings and psychotic behaviour characterise bipolar disorder. Although it affects both sexes, women are particularly vulnerable due to hormonal changes. The following tips can help you identify the symptoms of bipolar disorder in women.

Steps to follow:

You can look for symptoms of depression. Although bipolar disorder affects men and women equally, bipolar II disorder is more common in women. The characteristics of bipolar II disorder include mild episodes of manic behaviour; however, women are more likely to experience an intense depression.


Look for mixed episodes such as an episode of manic behaviour followed by a state of depression. During a manic episode a woman may show increased self-esteem and increased energy that is verging on frenzy. However, during the depression, a person can stay in bed all day feeling worthless and gain weight due to inactivity.


Take note if the symptoms worsen during the menstrual cycle due to hormonal fluctuations. According to one study, 65 percent of women experience the worst mood swings during the menstrual cycle.


Note that pregnancy often exacerbates bipolar symptoms. Affective episodes and / or psychotic disorders often occur during the post-partum period. Furthermore, relapses are common within 3-6 months after delivery.


There are also several studies that point out that menopause can also trigger bipolar disorder due to emotional issues once the woman has started the menopausic phase.


This can apply to both men and women, but there is also a genetic factor that can determine bipolar disorder. A person with a direct family member who is bipolar has from 40 to 70% chance of also developing this illness.


Carbamazepine, a medication for this type of disorders, may decrease the effectiveness of oral contraceptives.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to How to tell if a woman has bipolar disorder, we recommend you visit our Mental health category.

  • Women taking medication for bipolar disorder can minimize exposure of the newborn by taking medication immediately after breastfeeding. Wait between 7 and 12 hours after taking the medication before breast-feeding. Use a formula if necessary during this time.