In addition to feelings of increased energy or irritability, individuals with bipolar disorder may also:
- Abuse of drugs and alcohol
- Exhibit behaviors that other's perceive as intrusive and/or aggressive
- Have a decreased need for sleep
- Are distractible and unable to concentrate
- Engaging in risky sexual behavior
- Have feelings of grandiosity (believe themselves to be more famous, powerful or intelligent than one really is)
- Have racing thoughts and talk fast, going from one subject to another
- Go on spending sprees
- Exhibit symptoms similar to unipolar depression
Causes and Risk Factors
It is estimated that one to three percent of Americans suffer from bipolar disorder at some time during adulthood.
The age of onset is typically in the 20's, however, bipolar disorder is now being identified among children and adolescents with increasing frequency. A family history of bipolar disorder significantly increases the chances of developing the illness.