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Why bipolar disorder occurs is not clear, but there may be genetic factors as it can run in families.
Why bipolar disorder occurs is not clear, but there may be genetic factors as it can run in families.

Bipolar Disorder Affects Men and Women Equally

Bipolar Disorder Affects Men and Women Equally

Bipolar disorder is a serious mental disorder that involves depression and elevated moods. The highs are known as mania or hypomania, depending on their severity.
The condition typically begins in young adulthood, often between the teenage years and the 30s. It tends to last for life.
Why it occurs is not clear, but there may be genetic factors as it can run in families, medicalnewstoday.com reported.
Bipolar disorder affects men and women equally, but there is evidence that it presents differently in women than it does in men. Some symptoms of bipolar disorder are the same in men and women while others may be gender-specific.
Symptoms that appear in both sexes include: high or irritated mood; more energy and greater goal-driven activity; elevated self-esteem or grandiosity; reduced sleep; much more talking than usual; rapid speech flow and flights of ideas or racing thoughts and being easily distracted; and impulse for risky pleasures without understanding the consequences.
The typical symptom of depression in both men and women with bipolar disorder is a severe form of feeling “low” or “down.” Some people may lose interest in things, including eating, while others may be unable to undertake everyday activities.
The way that episodes of depression and mania alternate varies between people. Some may have mostly depressive symptoms, while others experience more mania.

  Wrong Diagnosis
Research has suggested that women with bipolar disorder are more likely to have mainly depressive episodes. Men are more likely to experience a “mixed state” with depression and mania both occurring.
As women are more likely to go to their doctors with depression, they are more likely to be wrongly diagnosed with depression. If a woman is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, it is likely to be bipolar II, which means they have experienced depression with some hypomanic episodes.
According to the new edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association, a woman with bipolar disorder II is more likely to alternate rapidly between episodes.
It also notes that women with bipolar disorder are more likely to have a higher lifetime risk of alcohol use disorder and a higher rate of lifetime eating disorders.
An article published in PLOS One in 2014 reviewed the risk of attempted suicide in people who have bipolar disorder.
The authors found differences between men and women with the condition. A predictor of suicide risk in men was substance use.
Women’s predictors were different and included: many mixed episodes, or having symptoms of depression and mania at the same time, over a lifetime; psychiatric problems starting earlier in life; and a personality disorder alongside the bipolar disorder.

 

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