Although bipolar disorder is equally common among men and women, there are certain differences in the way that each gender responds to this mental illness. It is important to understand the distinct bipolar symptoms that may occur among young men so that they can be diagnosed early enough to prevent the disorder from getting worse. Many of the symptoms of bipolar disorder may be the same among men and women but there are unique issues to be aware of among men.
For example, men tend to develop the disorder earlier in life than women and the illness usually begins with mania first. Men are more prone to manic episodes than women and may act out more by fighting, drinking, and being aggressive. Typical mania symptoms include increased physical and mental energy, racing thoughts, risk taking and impulsive activities. Depressive symptoms include loss of energy, prolonged sadness, feelings of guilt and hopelessness and thoughts of suicide.
Severity and Frequency of Symptoms
There are certain gender differences which can cause men to exhibit behaviors due to bipolar disorder. They may be more likely to engage in substance abuse as a way of self-medicating themselves and their tendency toward escapism can lead them to become addicted to alcohol or drugs. Overall, men tend to have more severe symptoms of bipolar disorder which put them more at risk for problems later in life if they develop the illness when they are young. Women are more prone to have rapid cycling which means that their episodes can occur more than four times a year. Men have more intense symptoms but generally their episodes occur less often. Their symptoms may include more aggressive and violent behavior especially during a manic episode.
One issue that can be problematic in young men is their reluctance to seek treatment for mental health problems like bipolar disorder. Men are much less likely to get help, often because of the stigma associated with issues like manic depression. If you think you recognize any signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder in yourself or someone you know then it is important to seek treatment as early as possible. Young men are more prone to suicide than women and about 10 to 15 percent of those with bipolar disorder take their own lives. Getting the right treatment and medication can help minimize some of the symptoms of bipolar disorder and make it possible to work and function in life in spite of the illness.