When most people think of bipolar disorder, they tend to think of super high highs and drastic low lows, but the disorder can be more complicated than that, and it’s not always obvious. There are some subtle signs of bipolar disorder that are easy to miss, and paying attention to them can potentially help you or someone you love get a proper diagnosis.
“Mood disorders occur on a continuum, with unipolar on one end and bipolar on the other,” says Patricia Allen, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner at Summit Behavioral Health, over email. “Symptoms may be very similar, and Bipolar Affective Disorder is difficult to diagnosis. All too often, the patient presents to their primary care physician with symptoms of depression. The patient may fail to recognize or report signs of hypomania or mania. Unfortunately, individuals misdiagnosed early in the disorder lose valuable time to onset of treatment and the remission of symptoms.”