Bipolar Symptoms In Men
What are bipolar symptoms in men? Have you ever experienced these feelings: feeling on top of the world and engaging in risky behavior for previous days, but then wanting to isolate yourself, having no desire to eat, and feeling sad and hopeless the following day? Those are the signals that bipolar disorder comes in. While this illness can affect anyone, some symptoms manifest differently in men and women. Come with Liftyolife (liftyolife.com) to delve into.
1. Can bipolar affect men?
Gender doesn’t play an important role in mental health disorders. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 2.8% of the adult population in the United States suffers from bipolar disorder, characterized by significant shifts in mood and energy levels that impair one’s ability to perform daily tasks. When that group is broken down by gender, men (2.9%) are affected slightly more than women (2.8%). In adolescence and adulthood, men are just as susceptible to bipolar disorder as women.
Although the onset of bipolar disorder is more common in women than men, men had a significantly earlier onset of this disease than women, with men experiencing illness onset approximately 3.2 years earlier than women. (1)
Bipolar disorder patients (of which there are three types: bipolar I, bipolar II, and cyclothymic disorder) experience intense emotional states that can be manic, hypomanic, or depressive. They also go through phases where their mood is stable.
Because the illness has such a strong impact on emotional and psychological states, gender appears in how the disorder manifests in the individual.
2. Common signs of bipolar disorders in men
2.1. More severe symptoms
More men were sick and hospitalized for mania. In addition to having more manic episodes than women, men had more severe episodes of mania, which may have added to the higher number of mania hospitalizations (Arnold, 2003).
2.2. Co-occurring substance abuse problem
According to Arnold’s research, substance use disorders are more common in men. Many men will choose to self-medicate rather than seek bipolar treatment. It is a common stereotype in American society that men are not allowed to show emotion, which contradicts the symptoms of bipolar disorder. As a result, when a man feels excessively sad or even overjoyed, he may choose to drink excessively or engage in other drugs to regain a sense of normalcy.
2.3. Greater aggression
Bipolar and other affective disorders are frequently associated with impulsive aggression (opposite premeditated aggression). Increased impulsive aggression, whether as a state or a trait, is caused by an increase in the strength of aggressive impulses or a decrease in the ability to control these impulses. Premeditated aggression in animal models corresponds to predatory behavior, whereas impulsive aggression is a reaction to a perceived threat.
This is also simple to explain the manifestations of men suffering from bipolar disorder. When a man is in the midst of an episode, he is more likely to exhibit greater aggression. When they are depressed or manic, they are more prone to rage and irritability, making diagnosis more difficult.
2.4. Frequent manic episodes
Women are more likely than men to have depressive episodes in conjunction with their bipolar episodes. In contrast, men are more likely to experience manic episodes characterized by excessive energy and a decreased need for sleep. These episodes can last anywhere from a few days to several months. It can also cause the man to lose touch with reality.
2.5. Refusal to seek treatment
Illnesses, particularly mental health issues, are touchy subjects for men. They strive to be strong and do whatever it takes to demonstrate their power, so having a mental illness can be a huge shock and difficult to accept.
The stigma associated with men and extreme emotions works against them. Many men are hesitant to seek treatment because they want to maintain that nothing is wrong with them. This is a big problem because research shows that men are more likely than women to commit suicide, and these tragedies could have been avoided with proper treatment.
Many people do not want to admit they have a mental health problem, especially if perceived as “strong.” Still, it is essential to remember that having bipolar disorder does not indicate your resilience as a human being.
3. How to help a man with bipolar disorder
Both men and women are resistant to seeing themselves as having a clinical disorder, but men are more sensitive to suggesting that they are mentally ill.
If you’re worried about a male loved one, here are some conversation starters:
- Begin by emphasizing your concern for him.
- Look for a private or confidential setting for your conversation. This demonstrates respect and consideration for privacy and will make him feel more comfortable confiding in you.
- Try not to become overly emotional.
- Indicate that something outside their control may be to blame for the troubling behaviors.
- Don’t include any erratic or questionable behavior, as this may irritate him.
- Explain that many mental health disorders can be effectively treated and that you will assist in getting him the help he requires.
4. Bipolar disorder treatment in men
Dual diagnosis treatment will address all of your problems simultaneously through substance abuse treatment and mental health treatment.
The treatment journey is as below:
- Go through a detox period during substance abuse treatment: Separate the substance use’s symptoms and bipolar disorder’s symptoms.
- Following detox, be admitted to a residential treatment program, including individual therapy, group counseling, and a 12-step program to address your substance abuse.
- Be treated for bipolar disorder at the same time. Medication, such as antidepressants and mood stabilizers, is frequently used with cognitive-behavioral therapy or dialectical behavior therapy.
Bipolar symptoms in men can progress to severe levels, and they are more likely to commit suicide. If your loved one has attempted suicide, make sure someone stays with them. Immediately dial 911 or your local emergency number. Alternatively, if you believe it is safe, take the person to the nearest hospital emergency room. Follow Liftyolife (liftyolife.com) for more sound health advice.
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