top of page

Bipolar Disorder

Originally posted as part of our PhD Stronger Together Module - Mental Health Conditions (December 2020).

This month's Stronger Together content is focused on Common Mental Health Conditions! Today we are talking about Bipolar Disorder:

Graphic - Bipolar Disorder Definition, Signs and Symptoms. All text in post.


Bipolar disorder is a cyclical mood disorder characterized by episodes of depression & mania/hypomania.

There are several types of bipolar disorders, including:

  • Bipolar I - mania & sometimes depression

  • Bipolar II - hypomanic & depression

  • Cyclothymia - lower intensity cycles of depressive & hypomanic symptoms

Signs & Symptoms

1. Depression

  • Emotional: low mood, loss of interest

  • Cognitive: poor focus, worthlessness/guilt, thoughts of death

  • Physical: dysregulated sleep, dysregulated eating, fatigue, feeling slowed down or restless

2. Mania or hypomania

  • Emotional: significantly elevated, expansive, or irritable mood

  • Cognitive: inflated self-esteem, racing thoughts, more talkative than usual, distracted

  • Physical: restlessness, high energy, increased activity, decreased need for sleep, risky behavior

Stats, Demographics & Disparities

Graphic - Bipolar Disorder Stats, Demographics and Disparities. All text in post.
  • General worldwide prevalence is 1-2%

  • College & graduate students may be particularly vulnerable given an average onset around age 25

  • 83% of bipolar cases are considered severe

  • Black individuals are often misdiagnosed with a mental health disorder such as schizophrenia rather than bipolar disorder

  • Sexual minority women who experience discrimination are more likely to have mood disorders including bipolar disorder

Graphic - Bipolar Disorder Treatment and Care. All text in post.

Treatment and Care

  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

  • Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy (IPSRT)

  • Family-focused Therapy (FFT)

  • Prescription medication

Graphic - Bipolar Disorder Resources. All text in post.


1. General Resources

  • International Bipolar Foundation

  • Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

  • Bphope

2. Apps

  • Stigma

  • CalmHarm

3. Podcasts

  • Mindful Bipolar podcast


*The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician, therapist or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.


bottom of page