If you're worried about somebody close to you and feel that they are not behaving in the same way anymore, you may not know where to turn. You may have concerns about their emotional condition and feel that it may be linked to something other than simply the odd mood swing here or there. Could your loved one be suffering from bipolar disorder? If so, what are the typical symptoms and what could be the cause?

Trigger Factors

Unfortunately, bipolar disorder can often be genetic and be passed down from one generation to another. However, this is not always the case, and sometimes it may be caused by a particular event that happened in the past. In some cases, it can be triggered as part of a post-traumatic stress reaction, or in other cases, it can come on without much warning.


Somebody who suffers from bipolar disorder can experience extremes on both sides of the emotional scale. While some people may experience sadness at a particular event, the same event can often lead to extremes of depression or suicidal thoughts in somebody suffering from bipolar. On the flipside, a happy event may elicit ecstatic behaviour on the part of the sufferer, and this may seem to be extreme in the eyes of other people.

Types of Disease

Did you know that there are several different types of bipolar disease? Some people may be diagnosed with 'light' bipolar which is not always easy to diagnose, but others may suffer from extremes on one side rather than the other. In other words, they may typically deal with more depressive than manic episodes or vice versa. Still, others may be unfortunate to suffer from mixed episodes, which may see evidence of depression and mania at the same time.

Dealing with the Condition

There's no real cure for bipolar disorder, unfortunately, but it can definitely be managed so that its effects are less intrusive. People who suffer should make sure that they look after themselves as much as possible through exercise, good quality sleep, a well-balanced diet and, in some cases, medication. They may also find it beneficial to restrict their exposure to negative news channels, social media and particularly vivid forms of entertainment.

Reaching out

If you're really worried about your loved one, get in touch with a counsellor. They may be able to help you understand and provide some guidance, as you look out for their best interests. They may also help you and your loved one find a good bipolar treatment for the individual.