Bipolar disorder also known as manic depression causes shifts in mood, thought patterns and behavior. The cycle of bipolar episodes from good to bad moods are so intense that they may impede a person's ability to function. The causes of manic depression are not completely understood but there are various symptoms of being bipolar.

Symptoms of being bipolar vary from one individual to the next in pattern, frequency and severity of the disorder. The disorder has four types of mood episodes which help understand the symptoms of being bipolar. The moods are mania, hypomania, depression and mixed episodes and each has its own set of unique indicators. The manic phase is characterized by a tendency to recklessness. Hypo manic individuals are usually in unusually good moods and have periods of euphoria. Before, bipolar depression was categorized as regular depression; research however, has revealed that people with bipolar depression are more irritable, guilt ridden and restless. The fourth type of bipolar disorder is mixed episodes which an individual has a combination of high energy and low moods. People suffering from mixed episodes are normally considered suicidal.

It is from these four types of moods that the symptoms of being bipolar can be seen. The common signs and symptoms of mania include feelings of extreme irritability or optimism. Others are feelings of invincibility and superhuman powers. People suffering from mania, sleep little but are extremely energetic. They are very distractible and have racing thoughts that make them speak rapidly and others can't keep up with them. The manic phase is characterized by recklessness, impulsiveness and high levels of hallucinations and delusions.

Individuals in the hypo manic state are energetic and productive. They are able to maintain their normal routines on a daily basis and never lose touch with reality. Their unusually good moods may confuse other people around them but may cause them to make wrong decisions which in turn, if escalated turns to full-blown depression. The characteristics of hypomania when expressed separately are not a cause for alarm. However, when they are combined they are early indicators of symptoms of being bipolar.

Bipolar depression symptoms include feelings of hopelessness, sadness or emptiness. Victims of bipolar depression are irritable, have sleep problems and are normally guilt ridden. They are unable to experience pleasure, always fatigued and have suicidal thoughts. Symptoms of being bipolar are varied because of the different cycles of bipolar disorder.